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Juncker hits out over IMF successor

Tuesday 17 May 2011 - by Andrew Hickley

Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker has hit out at certain European governments for discussing IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn's potential successor, before he has resigned.

Referring to "a good friend of mine", Juncker said he was "very sad and upset" at Strauss-Kahn's arrest on sexual assault charges, which has overshadowed this week's meeting of European finance ministers.

Speaking at the EU finance ministers meeting on Monday, Juncker criticised political figures for already discussing the topic of Strauss-Kahn's replacement.

"It is indecent to see certain governments raising this question," the Luxembourg Prime Minister said at a press conference.

"Until Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigns, I will refuse to reply to this [question of who should replace him]."

Spokesmen for German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Belgian finance minister Didier Reynders had reportedly used the event to call for a European to continue as managing director of the fund. The IMF is yet to have a managing director from outside the continent.

"I didn't like the pictures I have seen on the TV this morning, it was deeply saddening," Juncker added.

"But Mr. Strauss-Kahn is in the hands of American justice and it is not up to us to comment. But it makes me deeply, deeply sad."

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