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<b>Front End</b>

    Headline: Front End
Source: Euromoney
Date: April 2000
Edited: Antony Currie

France's turn at the EBRD?

The scribblings of journalists are rarely immortal. But Euromoney's former Frankfurt correspondent Laura Covill can proudly look back on the day, nearly two years ago, when she wrote the following in a profile of Horst Köhler, following his appointment as EBRD president. "If he is successful in London, Köhler may yet advance further still - to the IMF's top position."

Covill, now based in Washington, always boasted impeccable contacts and undoubtedly based her winning forecast on soundings from inside German corridors of power. All of which suggests something Machiavellian in chancellor Gerhard Schröder's bid to have a German as IMF boss. Did he propose his first choice Caio Koch-Weser knowing that the US would oppose it but would have insufficient political ammunition to shoot down a second candidate? Enter Horst Köhler.

Everyone agrees that the political-jockeying process by which candidates are selected for top multilateral jobs is appalling. Köhler is already weakened by it as he takes up one of the world's most senior financial posts. Now the fear is that the shenanigans will continue in the search for an EBRD replacement.

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