IMF worried about elections in Europe, populist candidates

IMF

Feb 13, 2017 (LBO) – International Monetary Fund’s chief Christine Lagarde says elections in several countries in Europe, in the context of support for populist parties, is a cause for concern.

Germany, France and the Netherlands will hold elections in coming months which may raise questions about the future of the European Union.

“I am worried, as we all are, about the outcome of some of these elections,” Lagarde said at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Sunday, CNBC reported.

However, populist candidates don’t always turn out be mavericks. She used the election of Matteo Renzi as Italian Prime Minister in 2014, and of Alexis Tsipras in Greece in 2015, as examples.

“Remember when Matteo Renzi was elected, everyone thought ‘oh my god, what is going to happen with this maverick?'” said Lagarde, adding that when Renzi’s administration began policies were tamer.

Lagarde also referred to the election of President Trump, saying it’s hard to tell whether fears over the kind of policies he promised to enact would actually happen.

“I have not seen enough of the reality to actually compare the assumptions, the fears … to the reality of it,” Lagarde said.