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EU Backs France's Strauss-Kahn to Head IMF


European Union foreign ministers agreed to back former French Finance Minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn to head the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Tuesday.

Strauss-Kahn, a socialist, is credited with improving France's finances and economic performance as the nation prepared to adopt the euro.

His candidacy was promoted by France's new conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy.

In a long-standing tradition, Europeans choose the leader of the International Monetary Fund, while the United States selects the president of the World Bank.

The current IMF president, Spain's Rodrigo Rato, plans to step down in October, before the end of his term.

The IMF oversees the global financial system, monitoring exchange rates and balance of payments as well as offering technical assistance to nations.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.