Monday, June 13, 2011

Who the hell is Dominique Strauss-Kahn anyway?

During May to June 2011 the name has not been out of the news.

Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France's wealthiest suburb where Nicolas Sarkozy was mayor for 18 years.

He spent the early part of his childhood in Morocco, before completing his studies.

He would later graduate from Paris' top business and political schools, HEC and Sciences-Po.

During this time however he failed the entrance exam to l'ENA, which grooms France's future presidents.

He did however go on to get a law degree, and economics PhD.

In 1995, he was elected mayor of Sarcelles, a poor suburb of Paris, where he masterminded the economic policy that helped the Socialists win legislative elections in 1997, when he became finance minister.

His ministerial stint was cut short in 1997 when he resigned in late 1999 over a Socialist Party funding scandal. He was later acquitted.

In 2006, he sought the nomination in the primaries to the Socialist presidential candidacy for the election the following year, but lost to Segolene Royal in a lacklustre performance that prompted the US ambassador to remark he lacked the "fire in the belly" to win.

The following year, with President Nicolas Sarkozy's blessing he was made chief of the International Monetary Fund just before the worst post-war financial crisis struck, winning international plaudits for his stewardship.

Meanwhile, his popularity back home began to soar.

Polls suggested that while he had not yet officially declared his candidacy, he would trounce Mr Sarkozy and beat all other potential challengers in the presidential election next April and May.

That was before his arrest in New York.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is alleged to have locked a 32-year-old hotel maid in his suite at the Sofitel in Manhattan, attempted to rape her and then forced her to perform a sex act on him.

Mr Strauss-Kahn, 62, is charged with attempting to rape the maid and forcing her to give him oral sex, after she arrived to clean his suite at the Manhattan Sofitel on May 14.

New York prosecutors have made clear that they will try to portray the former head of the International Monetary Fund as a serial predator.

He denies all the charges.

Italian porn star named Natasha Kiss has claimed that she had sex with Dominique Strauss-Kahn but insists that he behaved like a gentleman, not "a drooling dog".
Miss Kiss, the star of numerous pornographic films, said she nicknamed the French economist "Genghis Khan", without explaining why.