After facing anounced protests during his appearance at Cambridge University (see e.g. Newsoasis, Cambridge-News) the French former head of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is also not welcome by everybody in the European Parliament (EP). The panel, where Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) is supposed ot debate with Jean-Claude Juncker and Jean-Claude Trichet about the Financial Crisis is jointly organised by the organisations “EU40“, “Friends of Europe” and “Debating Europe” and scheduled for the 27th of March 2012.
The Guardian neatly sums up the accusations against DSK:
DSK, as he is known in France, quit the IMF last May amid claims that he sexually assaulted a maid, Nafissatou Diallo, 32, at a hotel in Manhattan. He denied the allegation. US prosecutors dropped criminal charges against him in August, but Diallo is pursuing a civil action against him.
The pre-trial hearing is to be held on 28 March, when Strauss-Kahn is due to be summoned by judges in France over allegations concerning a suspected prostitution ring.
The Socialist party veteran has also been accused by a French writer, Tristane Banon, 32, of attempting to rape her in 2003, but French prosecutors decided there would be no charges because sufficient evidence was lacking for a rape prosecution. On another potential charge, sexual assault – where prosecutors said they saw the evidence as more likely grounds for a charge – France’s three-year time limit for prosecution had by 2011 passed
The event in the European Parliament (poster reproduced at the right) is described in an emailed invitation as follows:
Juncker, Trichet & DSK debate: Lessons learned from the Global Economic Crisis, Europe at a crossroad
These three men were at the heart of decision making process during the Global Financial Crisis that erupted in 2008 and will be coming together in the European Parliament Hemicycle to debate the Crisis and its aftermath. No others have such detailed and in-depth knowledge of how the Crisis unfurled and the manner of political response.
EU40 and Debating Europe are excited to have Eurogroup Chief and Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker, former President of the ECB Jean-Claude Trichet and former Managing Director of the IMF Dominique Strauss-Kahn for this lively and frank debate on March 27th between 10:00 and 12:00 in the European Parliament at ASP 3E-2.
EU40 and Friends of Europe are proud to be hosting what is set to be fiery and fascinating debate.
For more information please write an email to email@example.com .
Seating is limited and we can not guarantee participation.
Only registered people will be admitted to the room! This also accounts to MEPs. MEPs will receive priority entrance if registered.
The emails quoted below were circulated today (20th of March 2012) in the EP.
This one was sent around 13:18:
Yesterday, I sent a letter to our President, Mr. Schulz, concerning the upcoming visit
of Mr Strauss Kahn on Tuesday, March 27 to the premises of the European Parliament.
Mr Strauss Kahn will participate in a panel discussion on the financial crisis, together
with Mr Trichet, former President of the ECB and Mr. Juncker, President of the Euro
The event is scheduled to be held in ASP 3E2. It is hosted by ‘EU40′ and
its strategic partner ‘Friends of Europe’, which is mainly sponsored by the
European Commission and chaired by Viscount Etienne Davignon.
I am amazed that the event will take place within the premises of the European
Parliament because Mr Strauss Kahn is currently under criminal investigation
and the investigative magistrate is due to decide the day after the event whether
to press charges against him.
Therefore, I find his appearance in the European Parliament inappropriate and
premature. I am afraid it will mainly damage the reputation of our institution amongst
the public. The European Parliament should not offer a platform for the rehabilitation of
a public figure still under criminal investigation.
I therefore urged our President to contact the organisers and ask them to relocate
the event to a premises outside of the Europan Parliament.
I hope you share my concern,
Derk Jan Eppink
Followed by this one, around 14:15, in English and French:
DSK in European Parliament . NO !
Dear Mr. President,
We have heard, with anger and dismay, of the invitation of Dominique Strauss-Khan to the European Parliament this Thursday 27th March, on the initiative of our colleague Alvaro.
In the name of our struggle for the dignity of women, we are opposing ourselves to this invitation and ask of you, Mister President, to ensure that this Parliament remains a place of legislative work, where the sensitivities of each and every one are considered and that it does not become a media arena where one must make a show, create stunts and spectacles of ourselves.
The issue regarding Dominique Strauss Khan is indeed of this range: a show based on a scandal. While we respect the presumption of innocence, we also respect the right to free speech and refuse any form of sanctimonious interference on individual privacy. However, after the public announcements and decisive stance Dominique Strauss Khan has taken on different cases he is faced with today, this invitation is clearly indecent.
When an MEP organises an activity inside the European Parliament, the rule is that it must not cause problems. Seeing the legitimate reactions that Strauss Khan triggers in every place he appears at today, these problems are guaranteed.
We ask of you, Mister President, to use your authority to avoid that this invitation be carried out and create problems in the Parliament as well as outside. Women’s associations, warned of his coming, are already highly mobilised.
Please accept, Mister President, our best wishes.
Vice-President of the
European Socialist Party
in charge of Women.
Vice-Présidente du Parlement Européen
Groupe ” Les Verts au Parlement européen.
Alliance Libre Européenne
Véronique de Keyser
Vice-President of the
“Socialists and Democrats”
Monsieur le Président,
Nous avons appris, avec consternation et colère, l’invitation de Dominique Strauss-Kahn au Parlement européen le 27 mars prochain, à l’initiative de notre collègue Alvaro.
Au nom du combat que nous menons pour la dignité des femmes, nous nous opposons à cette invitation et vous demandons, Monsieur le Président, de veiller à ce que ce Parlement reste un lieu de travail législatif, où les sensibilités de chacun sont respectées et non une arène médiatique où il faut faire « des coups », du show et du spectacle.
La question vis-à-vis de Dominique Strauss Khan est bien celle-là : le show sur base de fond de scandale. Nous respectons la présomption d’innocence, nous respectons le droit à la libre expression et nous refusons toute ingérence moralisatrice dans la vie privée de chacun. Mais, après le déballage public et les prises de position de Dominique Strauss Khan sur les différentes affaires auxquelles il est confronté aujourd’hui, cette invitation est à proprement parler indécente.
Lorsqu’un député organise une activité à l’intérieur du Parlement, la règle est qu’elle ne doit pas causer de troubles. Vu les réactions légitimes que Strauss Khan suscite partout où il se produit aujourd’hui, ces troubles sont assurés.
Nous vous demandons, Monsieur le Président, d’user de votre autorité pour éviter que cette invitation n’aboutisse et ne créent des troubles dans l’enceinte parlementaire mais également à l’extérieur. Les associations de femmes, averties de cette venue, sont déjà extrêmement mobilisées.
Nous vous prions, de croire, Monsieur le Président, en nous sentiments les meilleurs.
Vice présidente du
Parti Socialiste Européen
en charge des Femmes.
Vice- Présidente du Parlement européen.
Groupe ” Les Verts au Parlement européen. Alliance Libre Européenne.
Véronique de Keyser
Vice-Présidente du groupe
“Socialistes et Démocrates”
Finally, at 19:36, Spanish MEP Esther Herranz García sent a message, taking maybe the most drastic reaction – she gave her membership in EU40, the organisation organising the event, back:
Señor Presidente del Grupo UE-40,
Conocida su intención de invitar a Dominique Strauss Khann (DSK) al Parlamento Europeo, he decidido presentar mi renuncia irrevocable como miembro de esta organización porque no comparto en ningún caso actitudes que puedan ser entendidas como de desprecio a la mujer. Habida cuenta que DSK es menos conocido por su desempeño laboral que por sus escándalos creo que no hay ninguna razón para traerle como invitado de honor a nuestra organización, así pues a través de esta carta doy por finalizada mi pertenencia a la organización que usted preside.
Sin otro particular,
As I wrote in a follow-up, the next day Dominique Strauss-Kahn decided not to attend the event.
Category: Politics (EN) | Tags: accusations, Cambridge University, Debate, Debating Europe, Derk Jan Eppink, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, DSK, EP, Esther Herranz García, EU, EU40, European Parliament, European Union, event, Financial Crisis, France, Friends of Europe, gender issues, internal emails, Isabelle Durant, Martin Schulz, opposition, politics, prosecution, protest, rape, sexual harassment, Véronique de Keyser, Zita Gurmaï 3 comments »