- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 10, 2005

STRASBOURG, France (UPI) — A member of the European Parliament opened a bid yesterday to block the appointment of Paul Wolfowitz to head the World Bank.

Green Party parliament member Caroline Lucas has drafted a written declaration against the former U.S. deputy defense secretary leading the bank. Miss Lucas asked other members to sign the declaration to block the appointment. If half of the 732 members sign, it would become the official position of the parliament.

“After lengthy and belated reforms of the World Bank in recent years, this appointment will set back the course of such reforms by decades,” she said. “Wolfowitz’s record seems to indicate that he believes that the developing world exists solely to meet the resources needs of the developed world.

“As a leader of the neo-con movement, his belief in unfettered free markets and a philosophy that was in the U.S. interest is thereby the interest of the entire world spells disaster for many countries in the developing world,” Miss Lucas said.

Mr. Wolfowitz, nominated by President Bush, was approved by the World Bank board March 31 after assuring members that he embraces the bank’s anti-poverty mission.

The former deputy defense secretary will take over the job from James Wolfensohn, who is retiring, on June 1.

The United States, the World Bank’s largest shareholder, has an informal agreement with the 25-nation European Union to appoint the bank president while Europe appoints the head of the International Monetary Fund.

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