Mirow pins job hope on solo status
EBRD president Thomas Mirow has made a last ditch bid, in an interview with Emerging Markets, to convince shareholders to elect him for a second term, as representatives of the bank gather on Friday to cast their ballots
EBRD president Thomas Mirow has made a last ditch bid to persuade shareholders to elect him for a second term, casting as a boon his own extraordinary lack of home country support as representatives of the 63-nation bank gather today to vote for its next leader.
In an interview with Emerging Markets, Mirow insisted the unprecedented failure by Germany to openly back its own candidate for another four-year stint may have paradoxically strengthened his shot at re-election, as shareholders find themselves today faced for the first time with a choice of more than one candidate.
Mirow, a former German state secretary for finance, said that he has served at the head of the institution throughout his tenure quite independently from any single shareholder. If re-elected, I would certainly continue to do so, he said.
He added that Berlins refusal to openly support his campaign for another mandate removed any doubt that he would act in the interests of the bank as a whole rather than at the behest of his home government.
I would see as a weakness for the institution the notion that any president acts on behalf of, or would be too dependent on, one government, namely his home government, he said.
Mirow was forced to scramble to keep his job following a reported deal earlier this year between Paris and Berlin for a French candidate to get the EBRD role in exchange for other German officials taking the helms of other European institutions.
Others have suggested that Mirow a Social Democrat and one time economic adviser to former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder failed to win Berlins explicit support in part because of his political stripes. This would not have happened if he was a [ruling party] Christian Democrat, said one source close to the discussions.
But the fate of the Franco-German deal remains unclear following the victory of Francois Hollande as French president this month.
The French candidate, EIB vice president Philippe de Fontaine Vive Curtaz, is vying for the job alongside senior British civil servant Sir Suma Chakrabarti, former Polish prime minister Jan Krzysztof Bielecki and former Serbian deputy prime minister Bozidar Djelic.
Voting is expected to come down to the wire and the final outcome will depend on how countries switch allegiances as weaker candidates are knocked out.
Mirow said he would appeal today to all those [shareholders] who have committed to an open, transparent and merit-based approach to look to my track record which I believe is quite convincing.
He dismissed the suggestion that strained relations between the EBRD presidency and Berlin, one of the EBRDs principal paymasters, could complicate a second term for him, insisting: I have no strained relations with my government. They have decided that, for reasons which obviously have not very much to do with me and the EBRD but more to do with balances within the European construction, they would not propose me actively for a new term.
He also referred to recent comments from a German government spokesperson who denied that Chancellor Angela Merkel had withdrawn trust in Mirow.
Mirow said his achievements included successfully managing a quick and helpful crisis response for CEE; a successful capital increase for the EBRD; a quick advancement of our new engagement with Turkey; the request of our shareholders to engage in the southern and eastern Mediterranean, which instantly put to rest all the lingering talk of the banks mandate coming to an end; and a further strengthening of banks financial health.