Dutch officials provide some background

The Dutch executive director at the World Bank, who led the committee that completed the report on the Wolfowitz Fiasco, and the Dutch Development Minister, who has been one of the more outspoken officials calling for an open process to select the next WB president, spoke to the Dutch media, as reported in English in an article from South African Press Agency (SAPA).

Herman Wijffels, the ED, says the main reason for Wolfowitz’s ouster was his incompetence rather than the Riza scandal.  “‘If he had otherwise been a good leader, this may not have come so far,’ he said.”  He also comments on the weasel-wording of the Board’s statement on Wolfowitz’s resignation: “It’s always the case that a forced departure is dressed up with nice words, definitely if that departure is arranged in political circles.”

Development Minister Bert Koenders says that the Bank was already in a state of “crisis” under Wolfowitz, before the scandal, and names his country, Germany, and the UK as the major players in holding him to account.

“Asked whether his determination to see Wolfowitz go may have harmed US-Dutch relations, Wijffels told the paper De Volkskrant, ‘I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to supervise the functioning of the World Bank.'” Unfortunately not a very common sentiment.

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