Where Are Diogenes and His Lantern?

May 27th, 2011

By Dan Miller

DiogenesDiogenes is known for having traveled about ancient Greece with his lantern looking for an honest man.  It was a different age and he may not also have looked for honest women. Perhaps there was no need because in those times all women were honest. Whatever.

Now it seems that Christine Lagarde, “the glamorous French minister hoping to succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn as head of the International Monetary Fund was today facing prosecution for financial sleaze.”

In a scandal which will pile further shame on France’s political class, Paris’s Court of Cassation started an enquiry into Ms Lagarde’s part in the Tapie case last month.

Tapie, former head of Adidas in France, claims he was cheated out of millions by Credit Lyonnais bank when the sports kit empire was sold in 1993.

In 2007, Ms Largarde – whom ITV News economics editor Daisy McAndrew has admitted to a “crush” on – ended the epic dispute by ordering a panel of judges to arbitrate and, in turn, they awarded Tapie the £270million in damages.

Opposition MPs were furious, with former presidential candidate Francois Bayrou accusing Ms Lagarde of “dipping into the the taxpayers’ pocket for a private beneficiary.”

Strauss-Kahn’s Socialist Party also accused Ms Lagarde of improper conduct, pointing to the fact that Tapie was a vocal supporter President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling UMP.

Judges will take a decision on whether to prosecute Ms Lagarde on June 10 – at a critical moment in her campaign to succeed Strauss-Kahn at the IMF.

Not important in the big picture; if guilty she should fit right in at the IMF and if not she will have plenty of opportunity to learn. Besides, Diogenes still has his work cut out in Greece.

(This article was first published at The PJ Tatler.)

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