I had a great note from some Belgian campaigners today about their finance minister Didier Reynders. I can sum it up in a single word: hypocrite.
As we wrote yesterday, Belgium’s Reynders is in the doghouse. He has come out and openly called for a European to head the IMF, rather than a merit-based selection process. The campaigner explained:
This position is totally contrary to:1) A resolution from the Belgian Parliament in April 2007 (which says what belgium said in the Istanbul meeting – namely support for a merit-based selection process)2) The statement from the Belgian constituency during the IMFC meeting 2009 in Istanbul which Reynders gave. It reads like this: “We support a merit-based selection of senior management without geographical preferences. The political independence of the Managing Director and the staff is essential.”
The Belgian position related to the World Bank is quite the same, the World Bank annual meetings in 2008: “In the future, the president will be chosen on the basis of a process which will be merit-based, open and transparent.”
So our minister is denying the parliament resolution and contradicts his own and the Belgian official position. WHY? First of all Reynders does not care about the parliament’s opinion and second he would like to get the IMF job.
This is very unenlightened behaviour, but perhaps we shouldn’t expect any better from our European leaders! Yesterday Belgian campaign group CNCD called for a selection process without regard to nationality (in French). The Flemish campaign group 11.11.11 echoed this call today. Is there any chance that such rank hypocrisy will actually dampen Reynders’ political prospects??