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Strauss-Kahn back in public life with speech in China

media DSK gave terse "no comment" to question on Sofitel scandal Reuters/Jason Lee

Former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn has returned to public life with a speech outlining the dangers facing debt-burdened Europe at a forum organised by Chinese internet company NetEase in Beijing.


Strauss-Kahn, who was forced to step down as IMF head after he was accused of sexually assaulting a maid at the Sofitel hote in New York, refused to speak about the scandal or his resignation giving reporters a blunt “no comment”.

In his speech, Strauss-Kahn expressed concern that French President Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel did not understand each other and that explained why the European system had problems going forward.

Dossier: The Strauss-Kahn affair rocks France, IMF

“None of the main problems has been addressed,” he said. “There’s no central budget in Europe, no institutional centres, no lender of last resort, no expansion of the monetary policy.”

Strauss-Kahn was once seen as a serious contender for French president before the scandal broke in May. He returned to France after the charges against him were dropped to face other accusations of sexual misconduct effectively ending his political ambitions.

Meanwhile, his wife Anne Sinclair has been named “Woman of the Year’ in a survey carried out by CSA and the Terrafemina website and published by daily newspaper 20 Minutes.

“We asked readers to choose from a list of ten woman who had featured regularly in newspapers throughout 2011,” said CSA president Bernard Sananes. “The idea wasn’t to identify the most popular woman, but those women who had attracted the most publicity.”

According to Terrafemina, Sinclair was a popular choice among women because they were moved by the image of her as wounded icon. “Women identified with her,” explained Veronique Morali, who created the site. “They asked themselves what they would have done in her place.”

Sinclair topped the list for 2011 followed by current IMF head Christine Lagarde in second and the Socialist Party's Martine Aubry.

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