May 24, 2011 / 6:56 AM / in 7 years

French government says China backs Lagarde for IMF head

PARIS (Reuters) - French Budget Minister and government spokesman Francois Baroin said on Tuesday that China supports Finance Minister Christine Lagarde as candidate to be the new head of the International Monetary Fund.

“It’s a European consensus,” he told France’s Europe 1 radio. “The euro needs our attention, we need to have the Europeans (on board), the Chinese support the candidacy of Christine Lagarde,” he said, noting it was too early to say whether the French finance minister would be a candidate.

European governments have said they wish to retain their traditional control over the leadership of the multilateral lender at a time when it is heavily involved in major bailouts in Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

Reporting by Alexandria Sage

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