who will be next World Bank President What will they do


More on Palacio dodgy dealings. Our diligent readers devoted to the truth have provided more evidence to the suggestion that Wolfowitz-appointee, general legal counsel Ana Palacio, has been following her boss' lead when it comes to hiring practices.

Elena Segura Labadía - appointed as the only senior legal counsel in Ana Palacio's office - apparenlty has nearly zero experience in law. Elena finished her studies in law in late 2005 and shorty after she registered at the Madrid Bar Association on 16 December 2005 - just after taking her position with Ana Palacio's office. See this link to the Madrid Bar Association for confirmation.

Previous to taking her very very senior legal position at the World Bank, Elena Segura worked for Ana Palacio as her assistant at the Spanish Parliament from May 27, 2004 to August 2006. According to our source, the assistant's job is usually done by students or recent graduates in Spain (which Segura was).

Here is the link to the Spanish Parliament informing them that Segura would resume her work as assistant to Ana Palacio in August 2006. Once again according to our source, this work would usually be understood to be taking care of Palacio's agenda and other personal issues. Besides this, Elena apparently has no job experience at all. Now I wonder how much senior legal counsel Segura is being paid at the Bank to do Palacio's dry cleaning?

Remember that Palacio was touched on the shoulder by King Wolfowitz in June 2006 after the resignation of former general legal counsel Roberto Dañino. Dañino left after falling out with King Wolfowitz, rumoured to be over the generous nature of Wolfowitz's contract, especially the termination allowance (that one is going to come in handy!) and retirement benefits. Back of the envelope calcualtions suggest that it will cost the Bank about a million to get rid of the Wolf (money well spent in our estimation -eds.) Perhaps not surprisingly, former general legal counsel Dañino was one of the signatories of the historic open letter in the FT from over 40 senior World Bankers calling for Wolfowitz to resign.

With questions already being asked about Palacio's discomforting proximity to the president, these latest revelations about dodgy hiring practices should surely be of interest to the ad hoc group, and may be making Palacio's mood a little less than cheerful.

Overheard by Bank staff in the elevator this morning - one colleague commended another, a stranger it seemed, for her blue ribbon. They turned to a third colleague who was ribbonless. The doors opened at 8 and she stepped out. "Our managers have told us, informally of course, that we should not wear ribbons." Surprised, one of the ribbon-wearing ones said, "that's terrible. Why?" to which the other said "well, we're in Legal, and the General Counsel wouldn't be very happy, we're told."

Got that right counsellor.

(Don't let her keep you down, tell worldbankpresident.org. And in response to anxiety from others, our IT guru says that, depending on the Bank's internal systems, it is possible to locate a hotmail account to a desk. Do you Yahoo!? Outside the Bank please.)

Update, 26 April (Alex Wilks)
A correspondent in the Bank writes in response to the above post:

"Palacio's appointment is dubious on two grounds:

(a) When Palacio was hired last year as a consultant to PDW, there was objections raised by the then Ethics Officer (Ms. Maria Borrero) on the "conflict of interest" grounds because Palacio was still maintaining a political office in Spain. Soonafter, Folsom's Office (INT) showed the Ethics Officer to the door.

(b) Palacio was hired as a reward to her endeavors for making Spain join the "coalition of the willing" to fight the war in Iraq. [So is Muasher's appointment at a "senior" level]. Incidentally, compare Palacio's legal credentials to those of her eminent predecessors: Danino and Shihata.

Now, Palacio is following the lead of her neo-con artist boss by appointing unqualified but loyal cronies to her office, and the entire Legal Department is up in arms!"

Jeff Powell ~ April 26, 2007


Dear M Powell,

I would deeply appreciate that before writing any article as the above one, you could verify properly your information sources, which I am sorry to inform you, are the worst ever seen.

Knowing myself personally the person you are criticizing : Elena Segura, I do confirm that the above is just an absurd.

A good "journalist" verifies the information before publishing anything like this.
To start with, Elena Segura finished University on '98. The rest, I leave it to you to "properly" investigate.

Many thanks,

Hector Oliden

Hector Oliden ~ May 01, 2007, 03:34 PM

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