IMF Head Arrested On Sexual Assault Charges
LIANE HANSEN, host:
A high-level official of the International Monetary Fund was arrested last night at Kennedy International Airport in New York. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, IMF managing director, was taken off an Air France plane about to depart for Paris, by New York police officers and charged with the alleged sexual assault of a chambermaid at a New York hotel.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn was widely expected to become the Socialist candidate for the French presidency.
Ulysse Gosset joins us. He's a French journalist and anchor with French television.
Mr. ULYSSE GOSSET (Journalist): Hello, good morning from Paris.
HANSEN: Mr. Strauss-Kahn has been charged with criminal acts; attempted rape, unlawful imprisonment of a maid at the hotel where he had been staying. And how is this news being received in France?
Mr. GOSSET: Yeah, I think France is in a state of shock, from the left to the right. It's a personal tragedy for Dominique Strauss-Kahn and it's a shock, an earthquake in terms of politics, because Dominique Strauss-Kahn was going to be probably the leading candidate for the next presidential election. And so it changes everything in the campaign. And I mean the whole story is absolutely shocking.
I mean can you imagine the leader of the IMF, who is dealing with possible bankruptcy of some European countries, who was going to meet with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, today in Berlin, being arrested in an Air France plane as a brutal criminal? And it creates a big state of shock in the Socialist Party.
HANSEN: Has the Socialist Party made any statement?
Mr. GOSSET: No, they are saying that they want to see what Dominique Strauss-Kahn has to say. They want to know what are the real accusations, what are the charges, and see if it's true or not.
HANSEN: And the IMF has made a statement that it's fully functioning and operational.
Mr. GOSSET: Well, it's very embarrassing for the IMF. I mean knowing that Dominique Strauss-Kahn was in the later days negotiating the survival of Greece. So Dominique Strauss-Kahn was one of the key leaders in the world to negotiate the following of the financial crisis. And now they have to find somebody else to replace him probably, even if it's too early to say what will be the official reaction of the IMF.
HANSEN: Ulysse Gosset is a French journalist and anchor with French television.
Thank you, Ulysse.
Mr. GOSSET: Thank you very much.
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