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Bulgaria names World Bank official as new EU candidate

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(SOFIA) - Kristalina Georgieva, a World Bank vice president, was named as Bulgaria's new candidate for a top job at the EU Commission Tuesday, after the original nominee was forced to pull out.

Georgieva is Sofia's candidate for the position of European aid commissioner now that Foreign Minister Ruminia Jeleva has withdrawn her bid following controversy over her suitability for the role.

Georgieva, 56, joined the World Bank in 1993 and has held a number of technical and managerial positions there since, with particular focus on environmental and sustainable development issues.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick personally picked Georgieva as his vice-president and corporate secretary in March 2008.

Since Boyko Borisov's right-wing administration took office last July, Georgieva has been a close advisor to the Bulgarian prime minister on financial issues.

She is fluent in English, French, Russian and Serbian, holds a doctorate in economics and a masters degree in political economics and sociology from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia.

She also undertook postgraduate research and studies in natural resource economics and environmental policy at the London School of Economics and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Georgieva's nomination was seen by observers as an attempt to clean Bulgaria's image after allegations of financial irregularities and incompetency forced Jeleva to withdraw.

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