Tuesday, May 17, 2011

EU's Juncker: Talk on Strauss-Kahn's replacement at IMF "indecent"

Luxembourg premier Jean-Claude Juncker, who chairs the Eurogroup panel of eurozone finance ministers, lashed out Monday at Germany and Belgium for discussing the succession of Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the head of the International Monetary Fund.

Strauss-Kahn's position appears in jeopardy after he was arrested Saturday in New York on sexual assault charges. On Monday, he was forced to miss the Eurogroup's discussions in Brussels on bailouts plans for Greece and Portugal.

'As long as Mr Dominique Strauss-Kahn (does) not step down and I am not suggesting that he should do so ... it is undecent that some governments already this morning started that (succession) debate,' Juncker told reporters.

'This is a debate that has no place,' he added.

Belgian and German officials earlier said that if Strauss-Kahn, a Frenchman, were to resign, his post should be taken by another European. Traditionally the IMF is headed by a European, while its sister organization the World Bank is led by an American.

Juncker said he was 'very sad and upset,' as he described Strauss-Kahn as 'a very good friend' and said he 'did not like' pictures showing him handcuffed in the hands of the police.

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