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Bildt: sex assault scandal shouldn't damage IMF

The Local/AFP · 18 May 2011, 15:46

Published: 18 May 2011 15:46 GMT+02:00

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"The IMF is a rather solid body... I don't see damage coming out of that," Bildt told reporters, referring to allegations Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted a maid at the posh Sofitel Hotel in New York last weekend.

Speaking at a joint news conference in Stockholm with Australian foreign minister Kevin Rudd, Bildt refused to say whether he thought Strauss-Kahn, who is being held at New York City's notorious Rikers Island jail complex and faces a long prison sentence if convicted, should resign.

Strauss-Kahn, whose official IMF mandate ends in 2012, has denied the claims.

Bildt's comments echo those of Sweden's finance minister Anders Borg at a meeting of European finance ministers in Brussels on Monday, called to discuss financial support to Portugal and Greece.

"It is clear that it complicates the process that the IMF does not have a working head at the moment," Borg said before the meeting.

"But I assume that this is something can be handled, even if it occurs just at the time of this meeting. I do not think it will complicate efforts by Portugal, Greece or Ireland in an decisive way."

US treasury secretary Timothy Geithner meanwhile insisted on Tuesday the 62-year-old Frenchman was "obviously not in the position to run the IMF".

Kevin Rudd meanwhile also stressed Wednesday that the IMF was "a robust institution."

"The IMF is no longer just a creature of Western economies. Therefore it continues to play a significant role," he said.

Both Rudd and Bildt emphasised the important role the institution had to play in Egypt, where authorities last week requested an IMF loan to help cover a financing shortfall of up to $12 billion dollars through next June.

The IMF said Friday it would send a team to Cairo "shortly" to discuss conditions for the aid.

Story continues below…

The Egyptian economy, heavily dependent on tourism, has been battered after a pro-democracy uprising that began in January ousted long-time president Hosni Mubarak.

"Stability in the Egyptian economy is very important for the evolution of democracy there," Bildt said.

The Local/AFP (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:18 May 18, 2011 by Roy E
Only Bill Clinton and members of the Kennedy family are allowed to get away with rape in the United States.
16:48 May 18, 2011 by Nemesis
I hope the IMF is destroyed by this scandal.

The IMF raped Ireland and has been rewarded for it.

I hope they throw away the key for Strauss Khan.
17:04 May 18, 2011 by Swedesmith
The IMF's reputation should not be diminished. We already know what class of people head up that organization.
17:09 May 18, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
I wonder if the maid was a Swede. If so, I believe someone is building another Assange case.
17:10 May 18, 2011 by Great Scott
Of course this idiot bildt doesn't think it will harm the IMF, these pigs protect each other's backsides.
18:07 May 18, 2011 by mkvgtired
@Roy E, Bill Clinton was not accused of rape. Your comment makes it seem as if Strauss-Kahn is being unfairly, but maybe im reading it wrong.
18:27 May 18, 2011 by Rey Stockholm
What alwasy amazes me about socialist politicians is there penchant for luxury hotel suites and first class flights and they do not seem to see any irony in it.
19:15 May 18, 2011 by Roy E
@mkvgtired - look into it a little deeper and you'll quickly be enlightened as to the degree to which unsavory antics get hushed up, covered up, and swept under the rug.
19:30 May 18, 2011 by Syftfel
I disagree with Bildt. I think it very much damages the IMF, as it should! The IMF has become nothing more than a socialist extortion racket where the third world demands money from the developed world without giving anything in return. In other words the IMF is a welfare institution on a national level whose raison d'être has expired. While the developed world should assist poorer nations, it should be done with acccountability. Not just by shoveling money into a bottomless third-world pit. Strauss-Khan a french socialist of the high order exemplifies this from beinning to end in this philosophy. He's e-n-t-i-t-l-e-d to have sex with the chamber maid. By the way, Strauss-Khan may have more serious things to worry about than being charged with rape of a chamber maid at the Sofitel in New York. The New York Post reports today that the woman in question lives in a home for AIDS patients in the Bronx!!(Whatever that may mean). It is with some glee one realizes that it was frenchman and a socialist who fell into this. The French have always taken the high road and stuck their noses in the air. This ought teach them a lesson. Well, Strauss-Khan is now in a holding cell on Rikers Island together with street level drug dealers, and violent muggers, certainly no walk in the park. I'm sure this is a far cry from a $3,000.00 a night luxury hotel suite. Let's hope his arrest signifies the end of IMF. Let's look for an alternative, more fair, venue.
01:36 May 19, 2011 by glennlab
Of course this doesn't damage the IMF, they have been raping countries for years.
02:29 May 19, 2011 by sgt_doom
I would disagree with Minister Bildt, just as the typical super-rich attitudes of a Strauss-Kahn are highly indicative of the attitudes which abound at the IMF, World Bank and WTO, so too is Mr. Bildt's attitude obvious when he was a director at Lundin Petroleum during the massacres and displacement of the Sudanese people living upon oil-rich lands which his company wanted.

Bildt is simply demonstrating that chronic attitude of the rich and evil.
03:39 May 19, 2011 by MarkinBoston
The IMF has been raping countries? By lending them money at less-than-market rates? No country has to take IMF money. But they do, and then the try to blame the IMF for their problems. Hypocrites.
11:15 May 19, 2011 by cogito
@mgkvtired #8: Bill Clinton was accused of rape. It was hushed up.

@Rey Stockholm #7. But socialists are always thinking about humanity while wearing $35,000 suites in their $5,000 a night hotel suites.

Same with the caviar and champagne gang at the United Nations.
11:35 May 19, 2011 by Syftfel
The latest from Rikers Island is that socialist Strauss-Khann will be in court on Friday morning, and that he will post 1 million dollars bail. (Where did this money come from, one asks). This of course means that the rape victim has been paid off, handsomely, and that socialist Strauss-Khan will be back in France by Tuesday. Yes, he has already resigned from the IMF, but that's no skin off of his tanned nose. He will return to lilving in splendor in a chateau in the south of France. There is no extradition treaty between France and the US for these types of crimes. So much for liberté, égaliteé et fraternité. Well, in the socialist world some indeed are more equal than others. Have fun Strauss-Khan. You're a rat!
14:44 May 19, 2011 by johnny1939
Men are pigs!!!
16:37 May 20, 2011 by zoroastrina
Syftel does not know that the 'signifiant' 'socialism' has as 'signifiés' (plural) (cf. Ferdinand de Saussure's structuralism) has an extremely broad and arbitrary 'extension' (Gottlob Frege) within linguistics, involving the bilateral sign system, and deconstructionism, as well as a wide-ranging symbolic content (Lacan). She has a profound lack of information.

The IMF viciously raped my beloved Ireland.
20:39 May 20, 2011 by Syftfel
@zoroastrina: True. We had one too, but the wheels fell off.
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