who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Very grudging acceptance. Wolfowitz has received semi-endorsements, through gritted teeth, from further European leaders. Few seem prepared to actively support him. Irish Finance Minister Brian Cowen told a Brussels press conference earlier: "the realpolitik of the situation is that in all likelihood Mr Wolfowitz will be appointed as chairman of the bank".

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder also told a news conference "I told him that I believed Europe's enthusiasm would be limited but that the appointment would not fail because of Germany".

Italian economy minister Domenico Sinicalco and Polish Foreign Minister Adam Rotfeld did find something positive to say. According to Sinicalco Wolfowitz: "is well-read, competent and likeable".

A spokesperson for the cabinet of European Development Commissioner Louis Michel meanwhile confirmed to me that there are no active plans for Mr Wolfowitz to travel to Brussels to meet Mr Michel. Indeed the latter will be in the on a regional work visit to the Caribbean for the next ten days so would not even be available.

I have so far had no response to my request for clarification from the Luxembourg government, in its capacity as European Commission President, on where and when a joint meeting with European member states might occur. I think it will be in Washington, perhaps next week.

Political blog Not-a-pundit also features a Dow Jones story this issue.

Alex Wilks ~ March 23, 2005

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