Monday, December 19, 2016

A week trying for the boss of the IMF, Le Figaro

RECIT – During his trial, it is apparent convicted of “negligence”, Christine Lagarde has been shocked by some of the testimony. Prior to the judgement made public on Monday afternoon, his family and his loved ones have made a block around it.

on Friday 16 December in the evening, it is in a parisian restaurant she took him to dinner with his loved ones. After a week of trial, she knew nothing of the verdict was expected Monday. But she wanted, in spite of the fatigue, to find ourselves surrounded by those who, personally or professionally, have remained firmly at his sides. Finally, Christine Lagarde has been found guilty of “negligence” in his handling of the arbitration Tapie, but exempt from penalty by the Court of justice of the Republic. After five years of proceedings, “five years of tests”, as she says, to herself of course, but also “for my companion, my son, my brothers, my family, my friends, the former members of my cabinet.”

This week of trial, the director general of the IMF knew that it would be difficult. She could feel it too-without understanding why – that the chair of the RGC, Martine Ract-Madoux, had decided to persist with it. “It was feared that it behaves with bitterness, it did not make a mistake”, according to one of the advice of the former minister. But for all that, it was prepared.

Patrick Maisonneuve in his office (Photo by Reuters / GONZALO FUENTES)

Patrick Maisonneuve in his office (Photo by Reuters / GONZALO FUENTES) photo Credits :

The director general of the IMF arrived in Paris two weeks ago. The first weekend of December, it is in his counsel that she passes on. With his advice, in the firm of Patrick Maisonneuve, boulevard Saint Germain, the time has come for the last refinements of his defence: assume having “trust” to his former co-workers at Bercy, his ex-chief of staff Stéphane Richard at the head, and say she may have been “abused”, but without pass for the “negligent”, as seems to reproach him justice. “That day,” said one of the participants at this meeting, it remained true to itself: concentrated, professional, attentive, and taking notes”. But, reports another of his loved ones in an allusion to the facts alleged against him “she will be neglected, certainly not! Cameron and Merkel would not have supported someone neglecting to go to the IMF”. Or, as said, also a former collaborator, “as the sports high level that it has, it then waits on the event in the fearing, but conscious of his strength”.

Mind of steel for top-level athletes

younger, the mind of steel had allowed him to become the vice-champion of France in synchronised swimming… But also prepared for it, expecting it to be as much violence in a small room of the Court of Justice? The steps of the two week trial, she has lived with different feelings. She arrives Monday morning “tired,” admits a close relative who is suspected of having slept badly. May be a little lean also. She discovers a atmosphere tense, journalists pressing, after that the President has authorized them to enter the room. After nearly 3 hours of questions standing -she didn’t want to sit down-she has only one desire: to return home, in his house in paris, where expecting a good massage -she knew that she would need. And more importantly, his companion, Xavier Gioccanti, surely the most anxious of the two.

The morning of Wednesday, is the most difficult. If Stéphane Richard is not coming to testify -arguing that the statute “contradictory” with the allegations against him in the non-departmental to the case, Bruno Bézard, the former director of the Agency of the interests of the State (EPA) is, to him, right there. It overwhelms the former minister and his former director of cabinet. “Arrogant”, “sufficient”, “this man who knows everything he forgot that he had recommended when he was boss of the EPA for the purchase of the mining company Uramin by the group nuclear public Areva, a financial disaster”… the entourage of the director-general of the IMF concentrates the fire on this former top civil servant.

“This arrogance, it is expected, but not at this point!”, says one of his close friends. “He settled old accounts”, summarizes lapidary another. “It has exceeded the terminals”, confided Christine Lagarde this evening to a third. At the same, she said after the hearing of François Pérol -former deputy secretary general of the Élysée, which ensures that the bar does not have any memory of most of the meetings with Bernard Tapie as the subject and that he had no power, that “the arms [him in the] fall”. In the evening, with his advice, it also illustrates all the possible outcomes: acquittal, conviction and the suspension of the proceedings. That night again, she will not sleep well…

former employees of the tears in the eyes

Thursday, the witnesses for the defence make their entrance. Followed the indictment of the public prosecutor’s office that claims the relaxed. The representative of the public prosecutor, Jean-Claude Marin, was already hostile to the very principle of a trial of the former minister of the Economy before the RGC. According to him, we must be careful not to confuse “criminal negligence” and “bad policy choices”. For a simple reason: “Otherwise, this Court will sit often,” he joked in front of them. “At this moment, we all had the impression that a ball at the foot stood out”, says a close. On Friday morning, before the hearing, she reworks the text it should say in the conclusion of his hearing. She knows that these words must mark the spirits. She chooses them one at a time. “You have discovered the face of the house Bercy where thousands of notes, with or without codes, go up and down and circulate at the discretion of t he filters, she says. You have discovered certainty, hatred annealed or rivalry with useless fluttering some to be infallible and beyond reproach, which are each in their own corridor.”

Christine Lagarde this week (AFP PHOTO / Benoit PEYRUCQ)

Christine Lagarde this week (AFP PHOTO / Benoit PEYRUCQ) photo Credits :

“But what the discussion had not revealed, and to whom I want to pay tribute, here, is the thousands of servants of the State, she continues: many men and too few women, alas, brilliant very often, workers, dedicated, and good-will, and thanks to whom we have been able to cope in France, at the time of the greatest economic recession since the 30s”. Some of those to whom she thinks, ex-employees, are in the room. They took turns throughout the week to be present. And when she utters these words, voice choked, they are several to have tears in his eyes.

Monday, at the time of the verdict, Christine Lagarde, had already flew to the IMF, as stated by his lawyer. The board of directors of the Fund has planned to meet as soon as possible “to assess the latest developments”. Before she left for her trial, he had already testified his confidence. “And it would reappear. At IMF, we consider that the RTA is a political jurisdiction, and that its judgment should be taken as such”, wants to believe someone close to them.


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