IMF President outlines themes of forthcoming Prague meeting

It was amid an atmosphere of tension here in Prague, sometimes bordering on hysteria, that the International Monetary Fund's recently appointed President, Horst Koehler, arrived in the city on Monday. He was in the Czech capital to see how preparations were progressing for September's IMF/World Bank annual meeting. Despite fears of violent anti-globalisation protests of the kind seen in Seattle last December, Mr Koehler was determined to give the impression that it was very much business as usual, and he focused on some of the priorities of the gathering. David Vaughan reports:

both men tried to play down speculation that the IMF gathering will turn into three days of virtual civil war in Prague's winding streets. They both expressed disappointment that - with so much talk of violent protest - debate about the actual content of the meeting is being largely ignored. After the spectacular and embarrassing failure of last December's world trade talks in Seattle, Mr Koehler outlined some very idealistic goals for the IMF's millennium gathering here in Prague, citing Mr Havel's often repeated message of global responsibility as an inspiration.