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OPINION

Colombia enjoys its Italian job

Roberto Junguito, finance minister of Colombia, had a good Inter-American Development Bank meeting in Milan. He secured hefty funding commitments from the IADB as well as from Andean development bank, Corporación Andina de Fomento. To top it off, he received the Euromoney award for economic achievement in the Andes from the president of CAF, Enrique García who says Hunguito is a determined negotiator. García should know: CAF has just promised Colombia $3.5 billion. Hunguito modestly shared his award with his young team. "When I was minister of finance in the 1980s, I worked with their parents," he joked.

Eduardo Montealegre, finance minister of Nicaragua, received the award for economic achievement in Central America.

Montealegre was in Milan to work on raising international funding to reduce expensive domestic debt servicing costs. The ex-Lehman Brothers banker revealed how he came by his new job. "In the primaries to be liberal party presidential candidate I ran against [now president Enrique] Bolanos. And unfortunately I did quite well. So he chose me as his campaign manager. When he was elected he asked me what job I wanted and I asked to be minister of education. But he punished me by making me minister of finance instead."

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