Mon, 06 Mar 2000

An American affront against Europe

Since Paris gave up their persistent opposition against the German candidate, so stands the duel: the German-Brazilian (Caio) Koch-Weser against the American and the American deputy managing director Stanley Fischer.

The situation is tricky. For good reasons, a European traditionally holds the IMF position. But with his attack against Berlin officials, the gruff U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers questions this arrangement.

A veto from Washington would be an affront against Europe in general and specifically the German government. The German chancellor has never been taken on this way on the global stage and he risks coming out a loser. Some think it is unfortunate that international officials grant priority for nationality. But, as long as it is this way, there is no reason why Germany should hold back.

-- Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Munich, Germany