Dutch gov't nominates fmr. Finance Minister to lead IMF: report

Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem

The Dutch government is nominating only one candidate for the position of director of the International Monetary Fund. And that candidate is former PvdA Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, sources in The Hague confirmed to both NOS and the Volkskrant.

Earlier this week current Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra said that the Netherlands has a few excellent candidates. On Friday he said that one candidate seems to be holding really good cards and that the government wants to improve their position even further. He did not mention any names.

The IMF is in need of a new director because current director Christine Lagarde is leaving for the European Central Bank. The European Union wants to nominate a candidate this month, according to NOS.

Hoekstra initially also wanted to nominate fellow CDA member and former Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkende, according to the Volkskrant. But his candidacy couldn't count on much enthusiasm from other EU countries. So the government is now entirely focused on Dijsselbloem.

The former Finance Minister and recently appointed chairman of the Dutch Safety Board gained a good international reputation in his role as president of the Eurogroup between 2013 and 2018, according to NOS. But he is not all that popular in southern Europe, where he is accused of being to harsh with countries like Italy and Greece. 

The government is aware of this, the broadcaster writes, and will try to convince all the EU countries that Dijsselbloem is a good candidate and will be able to take a neutral and unbiased position as IMF director.

Dijsselbloem has not yet responded to the reports that the government is nominating him to lead the IMF.