In France, The Strauss-Kahn Uproar Gets Even Louder

Originally published on July 2, 2011 1:41 pm
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The case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn has riveted France. His arrest sparked a national debate about the treatment of women and the role of the media. It also upended French politics. Prior to his arrest, Mr. Strauss-Kahn was seen as a potential challenger to French President Sarkozy in next year's presidential election. Sylvie Kauffmann is editorial director of the national newspaper, Le Monde. She's on the line from Paris. Thanks so much for being with us.

SYLVIE KAUFFMANN: You're welcome.

SIMON: How's this being viewed in France?

KAUFFMANN: The fact that he lost his very important job of the head of the IMF at the time the economy crisis, and probably that he lost his chance to be the next president of France, all this is seen now with quite a lot of puzzlement.

SIMON: Is there a feeling that he has a political career to pick up in France, if not in this presidential election, some other capacity?

KAUFFMANN: So it's very difficult to make plans for his political future, of course. And we have no idea if he will be able to run. I'm personally doubtful, because the prospects seem quite complicated for him.

SIMON: You spoke to our colleague Jacki Lyden on WEEKEND EDITION SUNDAY a few weeks ago, and talked about the fact that Dominique Strauss-Kahn's arrest, and the stories that tumbled out about him, seemed to be giving a voice to victims of sexual harassment in France. Does that change now that this prosecution might be reversed?

KAUFFMANN: Then you had the appointment of Christine Lagarde for instance to Dominique Strauss-Kahn as the head of the IMF, and Christine Lagarde did play the Roman card, and a lot of elected women have spoken out about their relationship with men in the political world. So I do think, yes, things have changed, at least a little bit.

SIMON: Sylvie Kauffmann, editorial director of Le Monde, speaking from Paris. Thanks so much for being with us.

KAUFFMANN: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.