IMF agreement close as Lemierre pulls ahead

EU finance ministers hope to thrash out agreement on Europe's choice for the next head of the International Monetary Fund at weekend talks, the EU's Irish presidency said this week.

Informal talks being held Friday and Saturday at a racecourse outside Dublin are likely to be dominated by the decision on the EU's nomination to succeed Germany's Horst Koehler as IMF managing director.

"It is hoped to get a decision at Punchestown," said an Irish spokesman, referring to the racecourse where the me