Wednesday 21 December 2011

DSK: No 'Firewall' Exists, Europe Has 'Only Weeks'

In his first formal public address since facing charges, later dropped, for the attempted rape of a hotel maid in New York, Dominique Strauss-Kahn offered a blunt assessment of his former peers' performance during the European debt crisis. 

19 December, 2011

The Financial Times reported his comments from an economics conference in China.

His words seem to indicate a desire to criticize European leaders that will only fuel speculation that he intends to someday return to a public role:

"It appears today as a debt crisis. More than that, it is a growth crisis. Behind the growth crisis is a leadership crisis,” he said.

The problem is that they don’t have exactly the same view and I’m not quite sure that [Angela] Merkel and [Nicolas] Sarkozy clearly understand each other,” he said.

He said that European leaders had consistently underestimated the severity of the financial crisis and made repeated mistakes in focusing on cutting debt at the expense of growth.

The problem is that they are still in denial,” he said.

Mr Strauss-Kahn was dismissive of the European summit in Brussels earlier this month, saying it was “another of the kind bleeding away, day by day, the remaining confidence investors may have in politicians”...

The stability pact that was agreed at the summit “may be good news for German domestic politics, but it is bad news for the European population.”

...Strauss-Kahn said the firewall to staunch the spread of the crisis “doesn’t really exist”. The €500bn European Stability Mechanism would only be operational in months when “the question is a question of weeks. The question is not a question of months.”

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