Saturday 19 October 2019

Jeroen Dijsselbloem loses out in race to take over at IMF

Former finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has lost out to Bulgaria’s Kristalina Georgieva in the race to become the next head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Dijsselbloem and World Bank chief Georgieva were the only contenders remaining after Finnish central bank governor Olli Rehn and Spanish economics minister Nadia Calvino dropped out earlier in the day.

Dijsselbloem congratulated his rival on Twitter when it became clear she had won the ballot of Europe’s 28 finance ministers, who voted by email.

‘I congratulate Kristalina Georgieva with the outcome of todays European votes,’ he wrote. ‘I wish her the utmost succes [sic].’

The 53-year-old Labour (PvdA) politician was vying to succeed Christine Lagarde as managing director of the IMF, a post which has always been filled by a European.

He was finance minister in Mark Rutte’s second cabinet between 2012 and 2017 and also chaired the committee of eurozone finance ministers known as the Eurogroup.

He was perhaps best known for his stand-offs with Greece’s finance minister, Yannis Varoufakis, over the Greek financial crisis.

Dijsselbloem also raised the hackles of southern European politicians with his infamous ‘Schnapps und Frauen’ remarks in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, when he suggested that some countries had been too lax with their budgetary discipline. ‘I cannot spend all my money on drink and women and then ask for help,’ he said.

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