Horst Koehler -- a German -- has been appointed the Head of the International
Monetary Fund on March 23, 2000. Thus, Germany has succeeded in getting
a top international job for one of its citizens. The IMF directorial board
have unanimously voted for the German candidate who became the successor
to Michel Camdessus.
In fact, Horst Koehler was the second German candidate for this job.
The first one, a German technocrat who speaks five languages and has worked
at the World Bank for a quarter of a century Caio Koch-Weser, was declined
by the U.S. government. After a long time of lobbying, German Chancellor
Gerhard Schroeder succeeded in convincing all E.U. member nations to support
Koch-Weser, but it didn't take the U.S. administration long to reject
him, stating that he lacked the leadership skills to run an organization
that acts as the world's financial fire brigade. From their side, the
E.U. leaders called it an another attempt by the U.S. to control the global
economy -- an American, Stanley Fischer, the IMF's temporary chief, was
Koch-Weser's primary competitor for the post. Another Washington concern
was that Germany might be tempted to use top position at the IMF to enhance
the euro, which dropped below the U.S. dollar. So a lot of people in the
E.U. say this is an attempt to prove that will not happen.
Thus Horst Koehler, once a close adviser to Schroeder's rival and predecessor
Helmut Kohl and the head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development,
has obtained the top post on the international level no other German has