Germany shows political muscle
BY ROBBIE MacGABHANN
Horst Kohler is the current president of the European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development. Horst is also set to become the head of the
International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Nothing remarkable in that you might think, but the Kohler apppointment is hugely significant in terms of global politics. It is a triumph for a resurgent Germany on the international stage.
The German government used the vacant IMF post as a means to test their growing strength as a regional and world power
The German government led by Gerhard Schroder had lobbied hard for Horst's appointment. Previous heads of the IMF have all been from Europe and usually France.
This time around, the German government used the vacant IMF post as a means to test their growing strength as a regional and world power. Schroder's self-styled ``Berliner Republik'' used the vacancy as a marker to show that, after decades of restraint, the German government could exercise influence in global affairs.
In the last week, Schroder was able to coerce the EU into endorsing his chosen candidate while pressuring the US into not vetoing his selection.
The problems of the IMF as a global organisation, the need for reform and dismantling of its free market policies were forgotten, as was its inability or unwillingness to tackle the fact that its polices have actually retarded economic development and increased poverty.
No, in the same weeks that the West debated whether or not it would still levy interest payments on disaster-struck Mozambique, the German and other European governments were more concerned with filling the IMF post.
The Financial Times described Kohler as being ``autocratic, irascible and dependant on a small circle of advisers''. So he should fit right into the unelected, oppressive IMF.