June 2, 2011 / 2:59 AM / 9 years ago

Germany's Merkel not opposed to non-European IMF head in long run

SINGAPORE, June 2 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday she supports French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde as the next International Monetary Fund chief, but said that she was not opposed to non-European candidates assuming the top post in future.

In the long run, it is not sustainable for an American to head the World Bank and a European to head the IMF, she told an audience during a visit to Singapore.

Merkel, who was speaking in German, also urged developing countries to take an unbiased look at Lagarde, who is a strong favorite to win the post and who France says has the backing of the G8 group of leading economic powers.

Lagarde and Mexican central bank governor Agustin Carstens have confirmed they are candidates to head the IMF, the main institution overseeing global financial stability.[ID:nLDE74I0U6]

The top IMF job came open after Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested and charged for sexual assault and attempted rape of a maid in a Manhattan hotel.

His resignation has led to calls from developing countries to end the traditional lock on the job.

Brazil on Wednesday welcomed Carstens’ candidacy as a step forward for emerging economies but stopped short of offering an endorsement, saying it needed more time to decide which candidate to back. [ID:nN01182699] (Reporting by Kevin Lim; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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