The EU's bailout of Cyprus has elicited unusually frank and vehement criticism from the finance experts grouped in the IMF's Executive Board.
Paulo Nogueira Batista, 58, is a fan of classical music, a connoisseur of German literature and an advocate of straight talking. As executive director for his native Brazil and 10 smaller countries, he is a member of the Executve Board, the highest-ranking operational decision-making body of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
His counterparts from the United States and Europe have often witnessed the combative personality of this economist with wavy, salt-and-pepper hair, who attended a high school in Bonn for two years in his youth. Batista is one of the most persistent critics of Western dominance in the IMF.
He often derides the Washington-based organization, headed by French politician Christine Lagarde, as a "North Atlantic monetary fund," because, as he argues, Americans and Europeans are primarily interested in defending their interests and preventing emerging economies like Brazil from exerting their rightful influence in the fund. He resents the Europeans for increasingly availing themselves of the fund's assets to combat their euro crisis, even though they have enough money of their own. "The euro countries abuse their power within the IMF," Batista is fond of saying.