France before and after the scandal

Now, France has a new point of departure – before and after the alleged sex-assault scandal. Only today it is dawning on the country, its politicians and parties what a scandal occurred in New York on May 14 with 62-year-old Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF managing director and the former chief presidential candidate from the Socialist Party. The country is coming to realize the consequences the event may have for the future. The Socialist Party is holding an emergency meeting today on what to do next and how to conduct preliminary elections for the “primaries” that start next month. And the main point is who to appoint for these elections.

It’s anyone’s guess who will win the 2012 presidential race. Before, the Socialists hoped that Strauss-Kahn would save the party, oust Nicolas Sarkozy from the Elysee Palace and become president. He could become the second Socialist president of the Fifth Republic. Francois Mitterrand was the first 17 years ago.


Could Sarkozy play a role in this? Could this be a conspiracy, or as politicians prefer to put it for fear of being taken to court, “manipulation” and “provocation?”

The question is being asked increasingly often by politicians from the center, as well as from the left and right, but not by the Sarkozy administration. This is only natural. Paris newspapers reported that employees of the administration and ministries were given a strict, albeit tacit instruction not to voice any positive emotions about Strauss-Kahn’s arrest and to insist on the presumption of innocence in his regard. Everyone understands who would win the most from such a turn of events.

However, it would be difficult to even imagine that Sarkozy could have acted so straightforwardly against his main rival. Only an insane man could have ventured “the hotel maid operation” in New York because it would have cost astronomical sums of money and the involvement of agents and spell a disaster in case of failure.

Conspiracy theorists also suggest Strauss-Kahn could have been taken out of the game by U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration because his policy in the IMF created too many problems for the incredibly swollen U.S. budget. But it is unclear what the point would have been, as Strauss-Kahn planned to retire in a couple of months anyway to focus on the elections.

“I have three challenges: money, women and my Jewishness”

And maybe, the case is much simpler? In an interview with the Paris-based Liberation about a month ago, Strauss-Kahn foresaw three main challenges ahead of him if he ran for president: “Money, women and my Jewishness.” The money came to him with his third wife, being Jewish is not such a big problem after all, but women…

His hyperactive use of his intimate body parts has become a kind of folklore in France. Even humorist TV and radio programs often play around it. In 2008, the IMF reprimanded its managing director for his affair with a Hungarian IMF employee. He had intrigues, big and small, and was also accused of sexual harassment.

Everything would have been fine if this had not happened at all or if it had turned out tomorrow or the day after tomorrow that the scandal had been engineered by the French president, or his entourage, election strategists or impudent aids, who acted without the president’s knowledge. In this case, Strauss-Kahn would have been carried to the Elysee Palace on the people’s shoulders, but alas…

There may be many grievances against the New York City police. They are prone to act as in Hollywood movies and can be flashy and melodramatic. Sometimes, they are rude and even cruel. After all, they have to operate in New York City. But whatever these cops might be, they are professionals and do not hurl accusations without reason. Strauss-Kahn has been accused on seven charges. If his guilt is proved in each charge, he could be sentenced to 74 years in prison.

Some people in France believe that French politicians think they are not liable for the petty sins that go unnoticed at home. This is why they think they can get away with anything. But this is not the case in the puritanical United States. Maybe this is why Strauss-Kahn got into trouble?

Christophe Deloire, the author of the book, “Sexus Politicus,” which created a stir in France, wrote in Le Monde that it is time France looked more attentively at its politicians – how they behave, with whom they live, etc. Morals are lax, as they were in the promiscuous 18th century. However, the country seems to turn a blind eye to this. Immediately after being elected president in 2007, Sarkozy divorced his wife with whom he conducted the campaign and married Carla Bruni. His main rival Segolene Royal did the same with her partner.

Deloire asks if these are the moral standards of French politicians. The statement sounds a bit moralizing, but it is perfectly true.

IMF writes off DSK

IMF officials do not conceal that they have written off DSK, although none of them have commented on the scandal. The search for his replacement is in full swing. The list of hopefuls includes former British Prime Minister and Finance Secretary Gordon Brown, former Turkish Finance Minister Kemal Dervis, head of the Israeli Central Bank Stanley Fischer and his Mexican counterpart Agustin Carstens. However, since by tacit agreement with the United States the post has always been occupied by a European, the name of French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is recited most frequently. French officials headed the IMF four times. Lagarde said in an interview about G20 financial meetings: “I honestly think that there should never be too much testosterone in one room.”

Maybe it was testosterone that led to Strauss-Kahn’s demise?

The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

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