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Last Updated: Monday, 26 April, 2004, 13:24 GMT 14:24 UK
Press believes Rato has IMF job in bag
Rodrigo Rato
Awaiting the IMF call

Leading Spanish newspapers are in no doubt that the former Spanish Finance Minister Rodrigo Rato will be the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

There is a widespread feeling that the support Mr Rato enjoys among Latin American countries will allow him to overcome the sense of grievance many developing countries have over their perceived lack of influence in international organisations like the IMF and the World Bank.

Support from the Latin American countries will have played a significant role

"The appointment of Rodrigo Rato is practically certain," says ABC, "in spite of pressure to end the tradition of reserving the leadership of the Fund for Europe and that of the World Bank for the United States."

"The support from the block of Latin American countries will have played a significant role in favour of the Spanish candidate's credentials in the third world."

Widespread support

An ABC headline states unequivocally: "IMF board to confirm Rato's appointment at IMF on Tuesday."

The daily nevertheless pulls up the organisation: "The International Monetary Fund still has a long way to go as far as transparency of information goes."

A headline in Madrid's La Razon says: "The group of 24 supports Rato's candidature for the IMF post".

Recognition of Spain's role in the world
Economy Minister Solbes in El Pais

"The Group of 24, which groups the world's developing countries, yesterday gave its support to the candidature of the Spaniard Rodrigo Rato as the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but criticised the way in which the selection process was carried out."

El Mundo is describing Mr Rato as "effectively the IMF director" and reports a meeting scheduled with African countries designed "to underline the Fund's commitment to the poorest countries, and at the same time to clear up any doubt that Rato could be closer to the Latin American countries than to the African countries."

Prominent post

Quoted in El Pais, new Economy and Finance Minister Pedro Solbes says the appointment "is recognition of Spain's role in the world, it is having another Spanish figure in a post of great prominence".

"An additional positive element is that it will facilitate easier relations not only with European countries but also with those of Latin American as well as other regions of the world," Mr Solbes adds.

The business paper La Gaceta de los negocios reports that Mr Rato is increasing his support, having already gained the backing of the US, the European Union, Latin America, Japan, Africa and the Group of 24 developing nations.

Rodrigo Rato's new challenge
La Rioja

"Rodigo Rato is almost certain to get the job" given the level of support, says La Gaceta.

"From nothing to everything in a few weeks," says the eponymous daily from the La Rioja region. La Rioja points out that Mr Rato had hoped to succeed Jose Maria Aznar as the new Spanish Prime Minister before the socialists stole the show at the recent election.

"Rodrigo Rato's new challenge... he is about to become managing director of the IMF, the highest position ever achieved by a Spaniard in the great financial institutions of the world".

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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