Thursday, April 26, 2007

The European Parliament has added its voice to those calling on World Bank boss Paul Wolfowitz to resign over a promotion row involving his partner

BBC News:

MEPs voted by 332 to 251 to ask Germany, which currently holds the EU Presidency, to call for his departure at next week's EU-US summit.

Their resolution states his resignation would be a "welcome step" in supporting the body's anti-corruption strategy.

Mr Wolfowitz is accused of intervening to secure a big salary for Shaha Riza.

The former US deputy defence secretary has been under pressure since it emerged that he sought a promotion and a $200,000 (£100,000) salary for Ms Riza in 2005.

Mr Wolfowitz has apologised for his actions and pledged "major changes" in the way that his office is run in light of the episode.

But his position at the head of the global lending body remains insecure with unions, former bank officials and politicians across Europe calling for him to step down.

He has hired a leading US lawyer to defend him while the Bank's board of directors considers his long-term future.

The motion passed by the European Parliament stated that Mr Wolfowitz's "withdrawal from the post would be a welcome step towards preventing the bank's anti-corruption policy from being undermined".

During a debate on the issue, a succession of MEPs called on him to stand down.

"Our message for him must be it is time for you to go," said Graham Watson, leader of the liberal and democrats' alliance.

Martin Schulz, leader of the socialist group, said Mr Wolfowitz's position was "untenable".

Swiss urge Wolfowitz to reflect if "right person"

Going on the offensive, Wolfowitz accuses World Bank directors



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