IMF Chief's Arrest Renews Euro Debt Crisis Fears Under Dominique Strauss-Kahn's leadership, the International Monetary Fund played a key role in keeping the eurozone rescue strategy on track, commentators say. And his probable departure will leave troubled economies like Portugal, Greece and Ireland without a champion, one analyst says.
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IMF Chief's Arrest Renews Euro Debt Crisis Fears

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IMF Chief's Arrest Renews Euro Debt Crisis Fears

IMF Chief's Arrest Renews Euro Debt Crisis Fears

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/136363446/136368697" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

As NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, Strauss-Kahn had argued for softening the austerity measures associated with the bailouts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

SYLVIA POGGIOLI: Today in Brussels, the European Commission's spokesman Amadeu Altafaj assured there will be continuity of policies despite the absence of the IMF director.

AMADEU ALTAFAJ: (Through translator) This should not impact on the programs for Greece and Ireland or the decisions about Portugal. I have seen alarmist headlines in the press, and I would like to reassure public opinion that decisions, which are underway, will not be affected.

POGGIOLI: Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator of the Financial Times, said Strauss- Kahn's probable departure as IMF managing director will leave troubled Eurozone economies without a champion.

MARTIN WOLF: Now, in the short-term, it probably won't make much difference. But the role of the IMF as a shaper of the whole programs - it takes an absolutely central role in devising these programs, when ultimately the Eurozone had to bring it in - that's going to go. It's going to be really quite different without him.

POGGIOLI: Sylvia Poggioli, NPR News.

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