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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-16-05 11:08 PM
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WP: Nomination Shocks, Worries Europeans
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Edited on Wed Mar-16-05 11:10 PM by Pirate Smile
Nomination Shocks, Worries Europeans
Some Say Selection of War Architect Could Undercut Improved U.S. Relations

By Keith B. Richburg and Glenn Frankel
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, March 17, 2005; Page A07

PARIS, March 16 -- President Bush's nomination of Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz as the next president of the World Bank was met with much surprise, little enthusiasm and some outright opposition in Europe, where he is best known as a leading architect of a conflict deeply unpopular here, the Iraq war.

"We were led to believe that the neoconservatives were losing ground," said Michael Cox, a professor of international relations at the London School of Economics. "But clearly the revolution is alive and well." He added that despite recent efforts from Washington to mend relations, "Europeans are still inclined deep down to suspect the worst, and this appointment won't go down too well."

European countries control about 30 percent of the votes on the bank's board; opponents would be able to fight the nomination if they chose to do so. By tradition, the United States, the bank's largest shareholder, selects the president, while Europeans choose the head of the bank's sister institution, the International Monetary Fund.

"There are two interpretations" of the selection of Wolfowitz, said Guillaume Parmentier, who heads the French Center on the United States, a research organization in Paris. "One is the optimistic one -- that this is going to take him away from U.S. policy. . . . The pessimistic interpretation is that this administration has to give sop to the far right. There was Bolton and now Wolfowitz -- where does it stop?"
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