Köhler told reporters that he had not sought the office of the presidency nor did he see it as an appointment that could "be planned in advance." But he expressed confidence that his own mix of national experience-as president of the German Savings Bank Association and as deputy minister of finance-and international experience-at the European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development as well as at the IMF-left him well positioned to "contribute to what Germany needs right now"- namely, help in readjusting its role in Europe and in the world, creating a strong economy, and developing "a good understanding of the Germans in the world and of the world in Germany."
Köhler said that he was leaving the organization with the "deepest appreciation of its integrity and its dedication to helping its members." Asked by reporters to reflect on his biggest achievement in office, he indicated that while any response just now would be "a bit premature," he was proud that during his tenure the IMF had opened up further- listening to others, developing a "learning culture," and drawing lessons from experience. He also cited the IMF's crisis prevention and management roles, which, in recent years, have helped the global economy recover from a major deterioration.
Köhler, who very recently returned from a twoday trip to Brazil, was also asked about his discussions with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The substance of Page 66 those talks, he suggested, will not be affected by the selection of a new managing director. Referring to leaders in the region like President Lula da Silva, he said that they don't need to be lectured about what is right for their people. What they need...