So Much for European Outrage
The EU gave the nod today to the contentious appointment of Paul Wolfowitz, the US deputy defence secretary, to head the World Bank.
European commissioner Olli Rehn "was satisfied with everything he heard from Mr Wolfowitz concerning free trade and also on poverty reduction and development policy," a spokeswoman told reporters.
The German development minister, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, said: "I expect that he will get the European and German support."
The World Bank board is due to choose a successor to James Wolfensohn tomorrow, and Mr Wolfowitz's appointment as president seems assured after his charm offensive in Brussels.
The prime minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, made it all but official when he described Mr Wolfowitz as the "incoming president of the World Bank".
After his meeting with senior EU finance and development ministers to discuss his vision for the world's leading development institution, Mr Wolfowitz - a key Bush administration hawk - said he believed deeply in the work of the World Bank and was committed to helping the world's poor. "Helping people lift themselves out of poverty is truly a noble mission," he said.
And with that, I leave for warmer environs until Tuesday... Or, as Eric Cartman would say: "Screw you guys, I'm going to the Caribbean..."