Lagarde and Merkel, two hawkish women in tune

kijBy Julia Pastor, in Madrid | Since her appointment last summer as managing director of the International Monetary Fund, the French Christine Lagarde speaks on equal terms with the German chancellor Angela Merkel about the economic crisis’ details. There is no doubt that Lagarde and Merkel are the two women holding the major economic decision power in the world, today. Merkel is the first female Chancellor of Germany since she was elected in 2005, while Lagarde was the star minister of Economy in the last Nicolas Sarkozy cabinet, until the moment she run to sit in the office of her compatriot, Dominique Strauss Kahn.

The understanding between both female leaders is good and the communication fluent. Furthermore, both of them, with a hawkish profile, share the same view on how to solve the euro zone crisis and agree on the fact that countries needing IMF’s external aid must strictly fulfill the severe adjustments envisaged by the institution.

During January, Merkel and Lagarde have met twice –the first contact was on the 9th, and the second was last Sunday– precisely in order to analyse the development and assignment of these IMF’s aid packages, as well as to prepare the next January 30th European summit.

The multilateral institution participates in the European rescue funds and, consequently, in the different troikas supervising Greece, Portugal and Ireland, but also, Europe has commited to contribute to the IMF funds with €200bn to put a stop to the Old Continent troubling situation.

On last Sunday meeting, the German Chancellor and the IMF’s managing director studied the draft which Germany and France intend to present in the upcoming summit to lay the fiscal agreement grounds that should be the legal device against the public deficit for the 27 countries Europe. The observers also think that both leaders dealt on the other French-German project, recently leaked, to create an specific fund for the countries that suffer the most severe financial constrictions.

Both meetings between Merkel and Lagarde have been held behind closed doors, and there has not been any press conference afterwards.

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The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.

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