Germany 'respects' Strauss-Kahn resignation

19th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Germany said Thursday it respected Dominique Strauss-Kahn's decision to quit as head of the International Monetary Fund, saying it will allow the lender to get back quickly to normality.

"The government respects the decision ... This step will restore quickly the IMF's full operational capacity. Dominique Strauss-Kahn did valuable work for the IMF during a difficult economic period," a spokesman said in a statement.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, resigned late on Wednesday, four days after being arrested in New York on suspicion of sexually assaulting and attempting to rape a 32-year-old chamber maid in his luxury hotel suite.

The former Socialist finance minister, who had been widely expected to challenge Nicolas Sarkozy for the French presidency in elections next year, is currently in custody and has protested his innocence.

Later on Thursday his lawyers planned to go to court to seek bail, backed by the offer of a million-dollar bond and a promise that Strauss-Kahn will remain in a New York apartment.

Germany on Wednesday reiterated that given the IMF's important role in the eurozone debt crisis, Berlin wanted to see Strauss-Kahn replaced by a European, saying there was "a whole range of highly qualified candidates."

"We believe that it would make good sense, given the current debate about the euro, that the new IMF head is well acquainted with Europe's peculiarities, the local currency issues and the local political conditions," spokesman Christoph Steegmans told a regular government briefing.

© 2011 AFP

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