By Kumaran Ira for the World Socialist Web Site:
The decision by French media and political circles to promote the International Monetary Fund managing director and leading Parti Socialiste(PS) member Dominique Strauss-Kahn as a potential presidential candidate is a stark warning to the working class. Though presented as a “left” party to the public, the PS supports the IMF’s anti-working class policies, such as the cuts carried out by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou.
Strauss-Kahn is seen as a major potential contender against the incumbent, conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy in the 2012 presidential election. He has given prominent interviews on television and in the print media. An Ipsos-Le Point poll published on May 25 found that 76 percent of right-wing voters and 66 percent of Socialist Party voters back Strauss-Kahn for the presidency. The nomination of the PS candidate for the presidential elections will be decided at a PS-organized primary election to be held in 2011.
In the years prior to the outbreak of the economic crisis in 2008, the IMF developed a fearsome reputation for slashing public spending in countries across the Third World. Since the 2008 crisis, it has imposed massive austerity packages on Eastern European countries like Latvia, Hungary and Romania, and most recently in Greece.
Strauss-Kahn defended the draconian measures being implemented by the IMF. On France 2 television on May 20 he said: “I think that the IMF’s role since the beginning of the subprime crisis is recognized by everyone. It’s doubtless thanks to the IMF, not only to the IMF but notably to the IMF, that it was possible to avoid a crisis as serious as that of 1929.”
In fact, the IMF and Strauss-Kahn personally are responsible for gutting entire economies in the interest of the major international banks and the financial aristocracy. Their bailouts have transferred trillions of euros in public wealth to the financial elite, while imposing wage and pension cuts of 20, 30 or 40 percent on broad layers of the working class in IMF-supervised countries.
An economist, Strauss-Kahn has served as managing director of the IMF since 2007 and is a prominent representative of the layer of corporate thugs that leads France’s bourgeois “left.” He was minister of industry and foreign trade in 1991-1993 in the PS government, and then a lobbyist in the EU capital, Brussels, for carmaker Renault and multibillionaire financier Vincent Bolloré…
[continues at the World Socialist Web Site]