A recently discovered letter showing International Monetary Chief Christine Lagarde pledging her undying loyalty to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been described as “groveling,” “bewildering,” and “baffling.”
“I have no personal political ambitions and I have no desire to become a servile status seeker, like many of the people around you whose loyalty is recent and short-lived,” the letter adds.
A copy of the undated letter was found by police after they searched Lagarde's flat in connection with a corruption probe involving payments made to businessman Bernard Tapie, a noted Sarkozy supporter. Many fear Largarde and Sarkozy collaborated illegal payments so as to repay the former president's campaign supporter.
“Use me for as long as it suits you and suits your plans and casting call,” Lagarde said in the letter.
“If you decide to use me, I need you as a guide and a supporter: without a guide, I may be ineffective and without your support I may lack credibility,” she adds before signing off with “with my great admiration.”
Some are understandably concerned that the now-IMF chief would so completely throw herself on France's former leader. However, as noted by The Telegraph’s Rebecca Clancy, the letter may have been written during the 2007 French Presidential campaign, “when she held a relatively minor post.”
“Ms Lagarde was finance minister during Mr Sarkozy's term as President, before stepping down to become managing director of the Washington-based IMF in 2011,” Clancy adds.
Still, regardless of the letter’s date, its release by the French newspaper Le Monde has caused Lagarde a considerable amount of embarrassment, especially as she’s being investigated for supposedly approving a €285m arbitration payout to Tapie.
“Prosecutors working for the Court of Justice of the Republic suspect the arbitration was payback for supporting Mr Sarkozy in the 2007 presidential election,” The Telegraph adds.
“The massive payout enabled Mr Tapie to clear his huge debts and tax liabilities, and reportedly left him with up to €40m,” the report notes. “Ms Lagarde has insisted the arbitration was vital to close a costly dispute, and has always denied having acted under orders from Sarkozy.”
Lagarde, for her part, has denied any wrongdoing.
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(H/T: BI). Featured image Getty Images.