Disgraced International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is coming under increased pressure to resign from his post after he was arrested in New York on charges of sexual assaulting a hotel chambermaid.
The finance minister of Austria, Maria Fekter, has demanded his resignation; while the Spanish finance Minister Elana Salgado, expressed her support for the alleged rape victim.
Strauss-Kahn, who was denied a $1-million bail by a New York court judge as a possible flight risk, is cooling his heels in a prison cell at notorious Rikers Island.
I don't comment on judicial matters, said Fekter. But in view of the situation, that bail has been refused, he himself must deliberate on whether he is hurting the institution.
Salgado said Strauss-Kahn is confronting very serious accusations,” although she added that resignation is only a decision that Mr. Strauss-Kahn can take.
Salgado also noted If I had to show my solidarity and support for someone, it would be towards the woman who has been assaulted, if that is really the case that she has been.
Strauss-Kahn has received support from Jean-Claude Juncker, the prime minister of Luxembourg prime minister, eurogroup head, and close friend.
I'm very sad and upset, he said. I didn't like the pictures I've seen on television.
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde described the chaos surrounding Strauss-Kahn as crushing and painful.
Strauss-Kahn’s absence from a meeting of euro zone ministers in Brussels may impact the economic bloc’s handling of Greece, which may need more financial assistance and a re-negotiation of the terms of its May 2010 bailout.
However, Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, the Portuguese finance minister said Strauss-Kahn’s absence has not been a problem.
The IMF boss faces a total of seven charges – the most serious of which is two counts of criminal sexual act in the first degree -- and faces up to 25 years in jail.
He has pled not guilty.
As for the IMF itself, it released another terse statement on Strauss-Kahn’s predicament: “The Board was briefed regarding criminal charges that have been brought against the Managing Director during a private visit to New York City. The IMF and its Executive Board will continue to monitor developments.”