John Key says he's 'super impressed' with French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde and the woman likely to be next head of the International Monetary Fund. The 'super impressive' Lagarde is demanding severe austerity cuts and massive privatisation programmes in the crisis-ridden economies of Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain. She says that some European Government's are not implementing the IMF's austerity measures quick enough.

There's been much discussion in the corporate media about who will replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn as head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has now thrown her hat into the ring and, as she has the support of the European political elites, she must be regarded as the frontrunner to win the post.

This won't please Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa who want to see a non-European replace Strauss-Kahn,

Brazil's IMF representative has commented: 'We feel it is outrageous to have the post reserved for a European.'

But that's the way it has always been for over sixty years and since the IMF have been desperately try to shore up collapsing European economies it'll be a European - and probably Christine Lagarde - who will be elected come August if not sooner.

But as writer Nomi Prins has pointed out the election of a new head won't bring a change in direction for the IMF.

It'll be business as usual which means bailing out various economies in return for sweeping austerity measures - what the IMF euphemistically refer to as 'structured adjustment programmes'.

Writes Prins:

... any concerns about the IMF altering its method of swapping loans for austerity measures just because its chief is facing felony charges, were alleviated the day he was denied bail. On Monday, Portugal, the third European country in the past year to get a bailout, was approved for a 78-billion-euro rescue package. The price? Public spending cuts. The benefactors? The private Portuguese banks that turned around to raise cash backed by bailout-guarantees a moment later.

In Ireland, where a swish of hot money entered the country during the years leading up to the 2008 crisis, the $113 billion IMF/EU bailout did nothing to bring down the 14.7 percent unemployment rate, even as $23 billion of pension money was requested as a condition of the loan.

So whoever takes over at the IMF its method of operation will remain the same - which is to make ordinary people pay the price for the mistakes of the banks and the financiers who continue to the be the benefactors of an unjust economic system.

Christine Lagarde certainly has no problems with the IMF's operational methods. She is another neoliberal zealot who thinks the working classes of the world should carry the burden of an economic crisis they weren't responsible for.

Take Greece for instance.

The IMF has forced the Greek Government to enact severe austerity measures which have included job losses and wages and pension cuts. In return for the IMF'S 'help' the Greek Government must also sell off state assets such as its electricity companies

Lagarde thinks this is just fine. In fact she is demanding that Greece 'do better in handling its debt problem'. She is particularly concerned that the Greek Government has been slow to privatise its public assets.

Last week she said that IMF 'aid' for the bankrupt Portuguese economy would involve a commitment 'to set public finances right'—a massive privatisation programme and 'structural reforms'.

John Key has come out in support of Lagarde's bid for the IMF'S top job and has described her as 'super impressive'.

He commented on Monday: 'I actually met her when I went over on my trip to Paris a couple of weeks ago. She's super impressive I've got to say.'

Perhaps he got some tips from her about how to go about privatising what's left of New Zealand's public assets.


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