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Christine Lagarde appointed as head of the IMF

France’s Christine Lagarde has been named as the head of the International Monetary Fund.

Lagarde, the French minister of finance since June 2007, was up against Mexico’s Agustin Carstens. An IMF statement said that both candidates “were well qualified”.

Lagarde replaces Dominique Strauss-Kahn as the IMF chief after Strauss-Kahn resigned following allegations of sexual assault. He is currently awaiting trial.

Earlier today, the US government had backed the French Minister’s bid to become the next head of the International Monetary Fund.

Timothy Geithner, the US Treasury secretary, issued a statement as the fund’s board met to choose between Lagarde and her rival Carsten.

“Minister Lagarde’s exceptional talent and broad experience will provide invaluable leadership for this indipensable institution at a critical time for the global economy,” he said.

Geithner also said the US government is encouraged by the “broad support” Lagarde’s candidacy has received, especially from emerging markets which want more representation on the IMF’s board.

In her presentation to the fund’s board last week, Lagarde said she intends to continue the fund’s “shift towards responsive, even-handed and balanced action in support of global economic and financial stability, the better to serve the whole membership” if she secures the position.

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