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Dominique Strauss-Kahn saga continues
Lawyers in France and the US may share evidence in two sexual assault claims against Dominique Strauss-Kahn. In what have become part of a legal living saga and the end of DSK’s chances of entering the race to be president of France in 2012, the two cases are by no means near settling.
The Independent reports New York City’s district attorney, Cyrus Vance, plans to question Tristane Banon, the 32-year-old French writer who accused DSK of sexually attacking her in a Paris apartment in 2003.
Ms. Banon’s lawyer, David Koubbi, and Mr. Vance met in New York to discuss similarities between Ms Banon’s claims and the accusations of Nafissatou Diallo.
Diallo, the housekeeper who worked at the New York City Sofitel Hotel, alleges the former head of the IMF sexually assaulted her last May. There have been discussions of Tristane Banon, goddaughter of DSK’s second wife and a former friend of his daughter Camille, going to Manhattan to be deposed.
François Hollande, Socialist presidential contender, was questioned about whether or not Tristane Banon had told him about the alleged sexual attack by DSK as Banon contended. Hollande said no, according to RTT News, adding he wanted no further involvement in the case. Hollande alleges the police interview was politically motivated and warned against politicizing the issue further.
The French government is now saying Moammar Gaddafi could remain in Libya if he agrees to renounce all leadership roles. According to The Washington Post, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé has stated Gaddafi must relinquish his roles as military and civilian leader before France would back a cease-fire or termination of NATO’s bombing. Negotiations have not started but Juppé said U.N. envoy Abdul Elah al-Khatib has been asked to coordinate meetings with Gaddafi’s representatives.
Bailout for Greece
Seventeen heads of government in the euro zone met this week and agreed to have their countries’ banks participate in several programs to reduce Greece’s debt. Proposed plans could include exchanging existing bonds for new bonds with lower interest rates and longer maturities. German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed the 109-billion-euro aid package, The New York Times reported. Private investment is also expected.
Politics and Finances
According to the Wall Street Journal, although the French presidential elections aren’t until May 2012, public finances will invariably take center stage with the deepening euro zone debt crisis, as France attempts to control its deficit.
The French finance and budget ministers have issued three separate statements that pick holes in the proposals made by France’s Socialist Party.
The sparring began when Finance Minister François Baroin published a statement criticizing comments made by François Hollande in a newspaper interview. Hollande, one of the leading candidates in the Socialist primaries, reportedly said France should balance its budget as soon as 2013, while the government has committed to reducing the deficit to 3% of GDP in 2013.
Tour de France: Yell for Cadel!
Congratulations to Cadel Evans, the first Australian to ever win the Tour de France. Today’s last stage of the race is a ceremonial ride; results were determined at the finish of yesterday’s stage. The race starts today in Creteil with winners raising rolling Champagne toasts on their bikes while en route before swarming paparazzi following cars. The excitement builds with three laps on the Champs-Elysées cobblestones before thousands of cheering cycling fans in Paris. Experts called this year’s edition of the world’s top cycling event one of the best in years. Andy Schleck is in second place, his brother Frank Schleck is in third. France’s Thomas Voeckler has delighted France with his 4th place finish and the winner of the last three Tours, Alberto Contador, ends in 5th place. Watch for Aussie fans bearing yellow “Yell for Cadel!” signs in Paris.
Air France Strike Called Off
Yesterday Air France cabin crews called off a strike that would have created chaos on July 29th, one of the heaviest travel weekends of the year, according to Reuters. Flight attendants and management have reached an undisclosed agreement on terms related to reorganizing flight attendants’ work at regional hubs.
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