LONDON (Reuters) - British finance minister George Osborne said on Thursday he will nominate Christine Lagarde for a second term as managing director of the International Monetary Fund, as support for her candidacy also emerged from other European countries.
“At a time when the world faces what I’ve called a dangerous cocktail of risks, I believe Christine has the vision, energy and acumen to help steer the global economy through the years ahead,” Osborne said in a statement.
Lagarde has no obvious challengers and has said she is open to serving another term. But last month a French court ordered her to face trial over her role in a payout of some 400 million euros ($434 million) to businessman Bernard Tapie.
Accused of alleged negligence over the Tapie affair while she was serving as France’s finance minister, Lagarde has said she will appeal against the court’s decision.
Osborne had previously nominated Lagarde for her first term in 2011.
At a briefing in Davos, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls added an apparent message of support for Lagarde after being asked whether France backed her reappointment.
“French authorities support Christine Lagarde,” Valls said according to an English translation of his words. He added that the finance ministry would be making a statement in Paris on Friday.
Spain will also back Lagarde and nominate her for a second term, an official source at the country’s Economy Ministry said on Thursday.
Reporting by Andy Bruce in London,; Steve Adler in Davos and Andres Gonzalez in Madrid; Editing by Catherine Evans