Thursday

20th Jul 2017

French police raid IMF chief's flat

  • Lagarde became IMF chief in 2011 after the Strauss-Kahn scandal (Photo: European Council)

In what could prove a distraction from her role in helping to save the euro, French police on Wednesday (20 March) raided the Paris flat of International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde.

She denies any wrongdoing in a two-decade-old affair that revolves around disgraced business tycoon Bernard Tapie.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

But Jean-Louis Nadal, the public prosecutor, in 2011 recommended a full inquiry into allegations of "abuse of authority" while she served as French finance minister before her IMF job.

The Tapie case concerns a financial dispute between the businessman and the publicly-owned French bank, Credit Lyonnais.

Tapie in 1990 bought the ailing Adidas sportswear company with a Credit-Lyonnais-linked loan.

He was forced to sell it when he took a government job.

He later sued Credit Lyonnais for allegedly mishandling the sale.

He lost. But Lagarde in 2007 stepped in to solve the dispute via private arbitration, which ended up with Tapie in 2008 getting €400 million of French taxpayers' money.

Her critics say she should have stayed out of the case because it involved public funds.

She might also have been wise to stay out on reputational grounds - Tapie in 1997 went to jail for match-fixing in his football club. He was also suspected of dodgy campaign financing for French ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Lagarde is the latest in a line of French finance chiefs with serious PR problems.

French budget minister Jerome Cahuzac stepped down on Tuesday after prosecutors launched an probe into allegations of tax evasion using a Swiss account.

The minister - who had campaigned against tax dodgers - denies any wrongdoing.

Lagarde's predecessor in the IMF job, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, resigned in 2011 following allegations that he tried to rape a cleaner in a New York hotel.

Poland 'leaving EU community of values'

Leading MEPs and legal watchdogs have raised the alarm on Polish judicial reforms, but the European Commission declined to speak out so far.

Security and defence to top EU summit

Pressure is mounting for social media platforms to remove any online content deemed to incite terrorism. Draft conclusions, seen by EUobserver, have made the issue a top priority in leaders' talks next week.

Cyprus talks up in the air

A week after the failure of negotiations to reunite the islands, Greek Cypriots are calling on Turkish Cypriots to reaffirm their commitment to the process.

News in Brief

  1. Polish parliament adopts controversial justice reform
  2. GMO opt-out plan unlikely to go anywhere in 2017
  3. Slovak PM threatens to boycott inferior food
  4. France takes Google's 'right to be forgotten' to EU court
  5. Turkey accuses German companies of supporting terror
  6. Israel's Netanyahu caught calling EU 'crazy'
  7. UK does not collect enough data to expel EU nationals
  8. Polish president threatens to veto justice reform

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  2. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  3. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  4. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  5. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  6. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Episode 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug
  9. CESICESI to Participate in Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Postal Services
  10. ILGA-EuropeMalta Keeps on Rocking: Marriage Equality on Its Way
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEuFoA Director and MEPs Comment on the Recent Conflict Escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh
  12. EU2017EEEstonian Presidency Kicks off Youth Programme With Coding Summer School

Latest News

  1. Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU
  2. EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions
  3. Law expert: direct EU powers have become too complicated
  4. Winter is here for Spitzenkandidat, but he'll survive
  5. Mafia money pollutes the EU economy
  6. Central Europe should be wary of Brexit stopping
  7. Poland's 'July coup' and what it means for the judiciary
  8. Commission: clean up diesel cars, or EU agency inevitable