Multilateral Development Banks

EU lawmakers call for Wolfowitz to step down

Jeff Mason, Reuters
April 25, 2007

Strasbourg, France: The European Parliament on Wednesday called for the resignation of World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, adding to the pressure on the head of the poverty-fighting institution to step down.

Wolfowitz, a former member of the Bush administration, has already faced calls to give up his post after revelations that he approved a promotion and pay raise for his bank-employee girlfriend before she was assigned to work at the U.S. State Department.

Lawmakers asked EU leaders to press the White House over the subject at a EU-U.S. summit in Washington on Monday.

They voted 333-251 with 31 abstentions to include a paragraph in a resolution on transatlantic relations calling on Germany, holder of the 27-nation bloc’s rotating presidency, and the United States to ask Wolfowitz to stand down.

They should “signal to the president of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz, that his withdrawal from the post would be a welcome step towards preventing the bank’s anti-corruption policy from being undermined,” the paragraph said.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are attending the summit with President George W. Bush, who nominated Wolfowitz for the World Bank job in early 2005.

The full EU resolution was passed by the parliament, the only EU institution that is directly elected by its citizens.

The call by the EU assembly comes as a special World Bank committee examines whether Wolfowitz abused his position or committed ethical lapses as it looks at the promotion of his girlfriend, Shaha Riza.

Read the full story.

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