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Greece's Strauss-Kahn vacuum

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Greece's Strauss-Kahn vacuum


For Greeks, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the once-powerful socialist, is now out of the picture. An owner of an Athens restaurant feeling the economic strangle-hold considers his indebted country has lost an irreplaceable friend, and put it this way: “Who’s going to take measures for Greece?” he asks.

Strauss-Kahn was a participant in the austerity planning that so angered Greeks. But Athens told ordinary citizens scraping by on increasingly tight household budgets that he held their interests at heart.

Journalist Jean Quatremer in Brussels, said: “For Greece, this is somewhat catastrophic, because the government is of the left, and Prime Minister Papandreou and Finance Minister Papaconstantinou rely heavily on Strauss-Kahn, who is a man of the left himself. They explained to their people: ‘Look, yes it’s hard, but this plan is prepared by a leftist; he’s thinking of the people’s welfare.’ Then, their main supporter blows up in their hands.”

Now that the one-time financial sheriff who spoke kindly to Greece is under lock and key, its struggling bailout negotiators are feeling even more isolated.

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