Pressure Piles on IMF Chief to Quit Office

World | May 17, 2011, Tuesday // 21:11
Bulgaria: Pressure Piles on IMF Chief to Quit Office The Director General of the International Monetary Fund, IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is pictured as he is being taken out in handcuffs from the special police unit for sexual harassment in New York's Harlem. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is facing an avalanche of calls to resign as head of the International Monetary Fund following his arrest on charges of attempted rape.

The Austrian finance minister, Maria Fekter, said he was hurting the IMF, while her Spainish counterpart, Elana Salgado, said her sympathies were with the alleged victim.

"Considering the situation, that bail was denied, he has to figure out for himself, that he is hurting the institution," the Guardian cited Fekter as telling journalists after arriving at a meeting of European finance ministers in Brussels.

Salgado said the offences he was accused of were "extraordinarily serious". She said he needed to decide for himself if he should step down.

"If I had to show my solidarity and support for someone it would be toward the woman who has been assaulted, if that is really the case that she has been," she said.

Other European officials were more supportive.

"I'm very sad and upset. And he's a good friend of mine," the Luxembourg prime minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, said on Monday.

"I didn't like the pictures I've seen on television," he added, referring to footage that showed Strauss-Kahn in handcuffs being escorted by police outside a New York police station.

Strauss-Kahn was arrested on a flight back to Europe where he had been due to host a series of high-level meetings about Europe's debt crisis.

He is being held at Rikers Island penal complex in New York and will be back in court on Friday.

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Tags: Socialist Party, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, IMF, International Monetary Fund, New York, France, Nicolas Sakrozy, sexual assault, sex attack, Anne Sinclair
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