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First DSK and Now Madame Lagarde: IMF Faces Another Scandal

Last week, a French public prosecutor demanded a judicial inquiry into ex- French Finance minister Lagarde’s suspected engagement in the legal battle between French businessman Bernard Tapie and the French Bank Credit Lyonnais which used to be state owned. Bernard Tapie accused the bank for misleading him in the sale of his Adidas shares in 1993. Mr.Bernard Tapie, a friend of president Sarkozy, sued the French state for compensation.

In 2007, Madame Lagarde intervened and offered to take the case out of court by creating a special arbitrage panel and this put an end to the long court dispute and a year later Bernard Tapie was awarded a 285 million Euros which was paid by the French state/tax payers. Now, a special French court decided to open an investigation whether she abused her authority.

According to French newspaper Mediapart the board of IMF was fully aware of the legal procedure concerning French Finance minister Christine Lagarde. The interesting question is whether this procedure will affect her current functions as the managing director of the IMF.

Madame Lagarde is seen as golden girl of the ruling French party UMP. She was once a synchronised swimmer in the French national team. She holds a law degree and she worked for the Chicago based law firm Baker & McKenzie as a partner. She specialized in antitrust and labour law. She became the chairman of the company in 1999 and the president of the Global Strategic Committee in 2004 before joining the French government in 2005.She was working as Finance minister in the French government before being elected as managing director of the IMF.