Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Germany says Wolfowitz's credibility in doubt

BERLIN (AFP) - Germany believes the credibility of World Bank governor Paul Wolfowitz and the institution itself has been plunged into doubt by revelations that he arranged a hefty pay rise for his girlfriend.

"The credibility of Paul Wolfowitz and the World Bank have been thrown into doubt," a spokesman for German Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul (pictured at left)told a regular government press conference.

Wieczorek-Zeul, who is also Germany's governor to the World Bank, said in the Financial Times Deutschland newspaper on Monday that it was "no longer acceptable" that Wolfowitz was refusing to resign.

"My conclusion is that Wolfowitz should do the bank a service and take the consequences himself. And the sooner, the better," she said.

Chief government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said Germany, and Chancellor Angela Merkel, had "full confidence that the World Bank would find a solution that corresponds to its high principles."

Wolfowitz has refused to resign over the revelations that he ordered a salary worth nearly 200,000 dollars for his bank employee girlfriend, Shaha Riza, in 2005.

But his future hangs in the balance after a crisis meeting of the bank's 24 executive directors on Friday to discuss the situation.

More than 40 senior former World Bank officials earlier Monday called for his immediate resignation.

The complete story may be found here:


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