German Chancellor Angela Merkel told BBC that she will back a European candidate to head the International Monetary Fund, following the resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

With the resignation of Strauss-Kahn's as IMF chief, debate has emerged as who should lead the Fund. When IMF was set up in 1945, European headed the IMF while American headed the World Bank.

Merkel without naming the candidate said it was important to act quickly in light of the problems that are bothering the eurozone.

Economy Minister Christine Lagarde would be a very good candidate, French junior transport minister Thierry Mariani said on Thursday.

Germany is Europe biggest economy, diplomats said favoring Merkel decision for backing European candidate.

The next IMF chief should be from Europe, but emerging countries should also provide successors in the long term, a German finance ministry spokesman said.

John Lipsky, second-in-command at the IMF, whose term expires in August, has taken over Dominique position as IMF chief until the IMF executive board selects a successor to Strauss-Kahn.