EBRD faces battle over next president

EBRD faces battle over next president

LONDON - Agence France-Presse
EBRD faces battle over next president

EBRD President Thomas Mirow talks during a press conference in Kiev. AFP photo

A battle for the presidency of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is in full swing ahead of its annual meeting next month, with current head Thomas Mirow not certain of holding on.

EU ministers failed to reach a consensus over the presidency at a Copenhagen meeting in late March and the Financial Times said that German national Mirow was favorite to be appointed to a second four-year term.

France meanwhile is keen to push its candidate, Philippe de Fontaine Vive Curtaz, the current deputy head of the European Investment Bank.

Others candidates include former Serbian deputy prime minister Bozidar Djelic, ex-Polish prime minister Jan Krzysztof Bielecki and top British civil servant Suma Chakrabarti.

The latter’s candidacy has raised eyebrows because there was thought to be an unwritten and unofficial rule that a Briton would not run for the presidency because the bank is headquartered in London. A final decision will be made by the EBRD’s 65 governors at their annual gathering in London on May 18-19, should European Union finance ministers first fail to reach an agreement.

Former deputy German finance minister Mirow has been widely credited with successfully dealing with the fallout of the 2008 global financial crisis and subsequent worldwide recession.

The EBRD, owned by 63 governments as well as the European Union and the European Investment Bank, was founded in 1991 to help former Eastern European communist countries switch and adapt to a market economy.