News / Europe

France Reacts Strongly to IMF Chief Arrest on Sex Assault Charges

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn (file photo)
IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn (file photo)
Lisa Bryant

There is strong reaction in France over the sexual assault charges against International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Considered a leading French presidential contender, Strauss-Kahn was arrested by New York City police late Saturday.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn's arrest has dominated the discussion on Sunday talks shows in France. New York City police apprehended the 62-year-old IMF chief aboard an Air France plane Saturday in New York, just minutes before its departure for Paris.

Strauss-Kahn, a popular French Socialist politician and former finance minister, faces charges in the United States of criminal sexual assault, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment. A maid at a New York hotel claims he sexually assaulted her in his suite.

If the charges prove true, they may likely end any prospects of him running against French President Nicolas Sarkozy next year. Strauss-Kahn has not yet declared if he will be a candidate for the 2012 polls, but he was considered a likely and strong contender.

The deputy director of the IFOP polling institute, Jerome Fourquet, told French radio that if the charges proved true it would be extremely hard for Strauss-Kahn to rally back as a politician.

Top Socialist Party politicians have offered a low-key response to the allegations.  Interviewed on Europe 1 radio, Segolene Royal, the Socialist contender against Sarkozy in the 2007 race, said the news came as a shock.

Reading from prepared remarks, Royal said the allegations were distressing, but still needed to be verified. She says Strauss-Kahn deserves to be presumed innocent, like anybody else, until found guilty.

Strauss-Kahn, who is married, previously admitted to an affair with a Hungarian economist at the IMF. But his supporters say he is not the kind of man to carry out a sexual assault.

Opposition politicians have offered harsher reactions.

A French parliament deputy and member of Sarkozy's ruling UMP Party, Bernard Debre, told French radio the allegations against Strauss-Kahn were a humiliation for all of France.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen also offered a reaction.

In broadcast remarks, Le Pen said if the allegations proved true, Strauss-Kahn would be discredited.

Observers speculate the charges may boost Le Pen's candidacy for the 2012 presidential elections, as well as that of Sarkozy, who is battling historically low popularity ratings.


You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid