Lew, Lagarde discuss Europe, IMF reform

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on Wednesday held talks with International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde on the situation in Europe and the US commitment to IMF reform, the Treasury said.

In a morning meeting at the Treasury Department, Lew and the IMF managing director "discussed the outlook for the global economy, including developments in Europe," the Treasury said in a statement.

The meeting came after the IMF, the European Union and the European Central Bank agreed Tuesday on the terms of a 10-billion-euro ($12.8 billion) bailout for struggling Cyprus.

On Wednesday, Lagarde announced that the IMF's contribution would be approximately one billion euros.

Lew is scheduled to visit Europe on April 8-9 for talks with counterparts on the global and European economies.

According to the Treasury statement, Lew and Lagarde also discussed the US commitment to implementing the IMF's 2010 quota and governance reform, "and the Treasury Department's continued work with Congress to get quota legislation completed as soon as possible."

In December 2010, the IMF board of governors approved major reforms of the Washington-based global lender which give greater voting power to emerging-market economies and doubles quotas, the contributions members make to its financial resources.

The reform proposal has languished in the United States, by far the IMF's biggest stakeholder with 16.7 percent voting rights.

To take effect, the reforms need approval of 113 of the Fund's 188 members, representing 85 percent of the voting rights on the board.

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