► He served as Minister of Industry and International Trade from 1991 to 1993, during which he participated in the trade negotiations of the Uruguay Round, preparatory to the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO
World Trade Organisation The WTO, founded on 1st January 1995, replaced the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT). The main innovation is that the WTO enjoys the status of an international organization. Its role is to ensure that no member States adopt any kind of protectionism whatsoever, in order to accelerate the liberalization global trading and to facilitate the strategies of the multinationals. It has an international court (the Dispute Settlement Body) which judges any alleged violations of its founding text drawn up in Marrakesh.
► In 1994, he participated with Raymond Levy, then CEO of Renault, in the creation of the Industry Round Table, the IRT specializes in defending French industry in Brussels, where he became vice president and where he rubs elbows with the big bosses.
► In 1997, Lionel Jospin, the new prime minister, appoints him Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry. He is the architect of massive privatizations, most notably that of France Telecom, although Lionel Jospin’s program specifically excluded it. Under his impulse, the Jospin government (1997-2002) privatized more than the governments of Balladur and Juppe right together (31 billion Euros compared to 25.7 billion), including several giants of the French economy which thus escaped public scrutiny: Air France, Aerospatiale (EADS), Thomson, Autoroutes du Sud France, France Telecom, Eramet, insurance companies (GAN, CNP), banks (Crédit Lyonnais, CIC Marseillaise de Credit, Credit Foncier de France ) ...
► In May 2005, he released a DVD in favor of voting “yes” to the referendum in France on the draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe. The “no” was to prevail in France with more than 54 percent.
► On September 17, 2006, he said: “French universities are plunging in the international charts. We must create competition among schools and end the hypocrisy of the single degree. This should not stop us from protecting the public nature of the system and maintaining an egalitarian vision.” He added: “For me, it would be no scandal should the Chair of Nuclear Physics, Paris-VI be financed by EDF, if EDF finds it’s good for its image. But this is not customary. |1|”
► November 18, 2008, he was decorated with the insignia of Grand Officer of the Order of the Republic by the Tunisian dictator Ben Ali. On this occasion, Mr. Strauss-Kahn said: “The Tunisian economy is doing well, despite the crisis, (...) economic policy which is conducted is healthy, and I think it is a good example to follow for many countries (...) the IMF
International Monetary Fund Along with the World Bank, the IMF was founded on the day the Bretton Woods Agreements were signed. Its first mission was to support the new system of standard exchange rates.
When the Bretton Wood fixed rates system came to an end in 1971, the main function of the IMF became that of being both policeman and fireman for globalised capital: it acts as policeman when it enforces its Structural Adjustment Policies and as fireman when it steps in to help out governments that are going bankrupt.
As for the World Bank the votes resulting in decisions are based on the amount paid as contribution by each member states. 85% of the votes are required to modify the IMF Charter (which means that the USA with 17,35% of the votes can paralyse any decision).
The institution is dominated by five countries: the United States (16,75%), Japan (6,23%), Germany (5,81%), France (4,29%) and Britain (4,29%).
The other 177 member countries are divided into groups led by one country. The most important one (6,57% of the votes) is led by Belgium. The least important group of countries (1,55% of the votes) is led by Gabon and brings together African countries.
http://imf.org evaluation is that the Tunisian policy is very positive (…) things will continue to function properly |2|”.
► In November 2008, following his visit to Libya, he said: “The Maghreb has seen remarkable progress and its potential is considerable. (...) I congratulated the participants in the Tripoli Conference for having adopted a plan of action to accelerate reforms in facilitating trade, financial integration and the promotion of private sector and joint projects. (...) The main challenge is to maintain the momentum of ongoing reforms that work toward reducing the size of government. In this context, the program for distribution of wealth contains both opportunities and risks. If structured and implemented properly, this program could promote the private sector, while minimizing the risks to the supply of essential public services |3|”.
► “If we can live to 100, we can’t continue to retire at 60” (Le Figaro, May 20, 2010). The Labor Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Woerth, thanked him publicly for his position in favor of pension reform |4|.
Translation from french by John Catalinotto