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Lagarde rules herself out as European Commission chief

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde has ruled herself out of the running for the job of European Commission president, saying she intended to complete her term in charge of the International Monetary Fund.

"I'm not a candidate and the reason I'm not a candidate is that I have a job," Ms Lagarde said in response to a question at a news conference in London. "It's a job that I happen to think is rather important at the moment."

EU leaders are expected to decide on their candidate for the presidency of the EU executive - a job that has a big say in policy affecting 500 million Europeans - by a summit at the end of June but there is division over who should win the post.

Former Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker is considered the front-runner given the support he has from the European People's Party, the EU's largest centre-right political grouping after last month's European elections.

Prime Minister David Cameron has opposed Mr Juncker's candidacy, seeing him as a supporter of a more federal EU which flies in the face of Mr Cameron's attempts to lessen the influence of Brussels over countries in the bloc.

So far, no candidates beyond those with a declared interest in the job have come forward.

Ms Lagarde added: "I intend to complete my term."

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