who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Brazil not convinced, but accepting. A report on Wednesday's meeting of Wolfowitz and many developing country Executive Directors in Brazilian paper is revealing. The World Bank presidential nominee was, in a nutshell, smooth and slippery. Brazilian government sources are quoted by Valor Economico (subs) as saying that Wolfowitz was well informed but on tough issues, when not able to give pleasing answers, knew how to dodge diplomatically.

Reuters earlier carried a story accusing Wolfowitz of sticking "to a careful script, talking about his passion for development and deep interest in easing poverty".

That Brazil seems to have given up any thought of opposing Wolfowitz saddens activists in Brazil and beyond who appreciated Brazil's role in standing up to the US and Europe at the Cancun trade conference eighteen months ago. E-mails have been flying with titles such as "Lula aligns with hawk".

The Valor Economico article notes that some, but not all Brazilian officials don't feel that Wolfowitz will be able to drag the Bank in entirely new directions. But it says Brazil's lack of opposition to Wolfowitz is partly because the government does not want to do anything that might reduce the flow of World Bank loans to the country.

This concern has certainly had a dampening effect on many developing country representatives.

Alex Wilks ~ March 25, 2005

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