BRICs make play for control of IMF

For the first time, the BRICs have openly revolted against the International Monetary Fund's long-standing preference for European leaders, adding a new problem to the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair, reports the Hindu.

In what the paper terms "an unprecedentedly explicit articulation of long-standing resentment," IMF directors from India, China, Russia, Brazil and South Africa (BRICS) said in a public statement that the practice of selecting only Europeans to lead the organization “undermines the legitimacy of the Fund.”

The BRICS group, including India representative Arvind Virmani, called for the abandonment of the “obsolete unwritten convention,” that required the head of the IMF necessarily to be from Europe, the paper said. There has been no reaction yet from any other quarter within the IMF.

While the IMF regularly recommends painful reforms packages to crisis-ridden developing nations, the paper said, the BRICS Directors' comments are a stinging critique of the IMF's failure to speed up its own internal restructuring process. Europe's grip over the MD's seat dates as far back as 1946 yet it has come under fire especially since 2005 when the G20 group of major economies called for far-reaching reform to improve the Bretton Woods institution's “governance, strategy and operations.”

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