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Why the IMF should be led by a European

Often images obscure reality.

With the fortunate emergence of new economic players we should not forget that for the time being although growth is in Asia, South America or in Africa, wealth remains in the US and Europe, the two continents which dominate the world's economy.

This is why they hold more than 50% of the shares in the IMF. The EU counts for 32%, the euro area for 24%, the US for 18%. This is how the world's economy is balanced, calculated according to the GDP, market openness, growth and monetary reserves.

And so  Europe is not struggling, trying to protect its privileges: it is the leading continent in terms of wealth and it simply and legitimately wants to establish a happy medium in terms of its influence.

Moreover the present debt crisis is different from those experienced some years ago by the countries which now enjoy strong growth. 

The emerging countries were often the sinking ships then. 

All of the problems they suffered during the oil crisis of 1970 and then the semi-bankruptcy of some in the 80's and when communism collapsed in Central and Eastern Europe were overcome with the effective aid of the IMF.

The IMF's goals established in 1944 are still totally pertinent today: organising monetary cooperation, faciliating world trade, promoting employment and growth, reducing poverty, providing temporary aid in the event of serious passing imbalance.

It is probably Europe that can best lay claim to embodying a vital institution which is successfully pursuing and must resolutely continue its development.

Because it is the only real, exemplary joint political project facing turbulence that has resulted from exceptionally rapid change: it is a peaceful entity, enjoying freedom and its rules are accepted.

The emerging countries challenge this superiority because of their recent development. But they are not yet in a very convincing position. Within their realm we find dictatorships, the most violent societies and some barely hide their challenge of democratic principles which would not meet with much success in the 21st century! They demand a place that would justify their weight, which is still limited, in the world economy (the BRICS, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa = 15%) but which is not qualified by their regimes which are still not really democratic, their unstable societies, their lack of openness, or their excessively partial view of an international community that must be better organised, pacified, cooperative, respectful of human life and the environment, in other words, modern.

One of the lessons to be drawn of the present crisis is that the good functioning of the world's economy does not boil down to financial equations and that it is only possible with a world project based on freedom, regulation, solidarity, ie one that is designed for mankind.

This is why a European would still be the best qualified because European integration is a project - which is of course a difficult and yet progressive one - but which is unique and successful pursuing the same end; it breaks with a great many certitudes that regulated relations between States until now.

And if the position of women in society is a criteria to gauge modernity, a European woman would be an even better choice and her appointment more than just symbolic!

Read the interview of Jean-Dominique Giuliani published in 'L'' on 3rd June 2011