EghtesadOnline: EU ministers on Friday chose the Bulgarian number two of the World Bank Kristalina Georgieva as the bloc's candidate to become IMF chief, in a fractious vote that failed to heal bitter divisions between member states.
Georgieva, if appointed, would become the second female managing director of the International Monetary Fund after Christine Lagarde who has stepped down to head the European Central Bank.
The Bulgarian economist is "now the European candidate for the new managing director of the IMF. She has all the required skills to successfully lead the IMF," French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who led the process, wrote on Twitter, AFP reported.
After the announcement, Georgieva said she was honoured to be the EU's nominee, Financial Tribune reported.
"It is an honor to be nominated as a candidate for the role," she said on Twitter, adding that she "requested administrative leave" from her post as World Bank CEO.
But officials warned that Friday's vote, an unprecedented step called by France in a bid to bridge divisions between Paris and Berlin and north and south, may not represent the end of the issue due to a series of possible snags.
Georgieva will theoretically be over the maximum age for an IMF chief and while she won the vote she did not get the full majority under the EU's complex qualified majority rules.
After three candidates fell by the wayside during the day, former Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, backed by Germany, and Georgieva, who was backed by France, were the last two hopefuls.
The post of managing director of the IMF goes to a European by convention but not rule. The EU fears too much division or hesitation may encourage support for candidates outside Europe.