Transcript of a Statement by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on the French Legal Case

December 19, 2016

Good evening to all of you. I would like to publicly thank the IMF Executive Board for reaffirming its full confidence in my ability to do my job as head of the IMF. The Executive Board, representing the entire IMF membership –189 member states– has reaffirmed its confidence and has, throughout the process of this trial and the five years that have preceded it, always expressed its support. This has indeed sustained me and given me a lot of strength.

In addition to the Board and the member states, including my own country, France, I would like to express my immense gratitude to the staff of the IMF. Throughout the process, and in particular the last few days, they have been by my side, supporting me wholeheartedly, expressing their friendship, support, and messages all along. The staff of the IMF is its strength, its excellence, and we have together done great work. I am very much looking forward to continuing to work with that extraordinary team.

All along, in my previous professional life and as head of the IMF, I have always discharged my duties in full responsibility, in conscience, in confidence, and with a clear focus on the public interest. Throughout this ordeal that I have gone through, I have never allowed myself to be distracted from the focus of what has been my professional life for the last five years - the mission of the IMF and leading this organization.

This matter has lasted for five years and has culminated with five days of a very painful process. The public prosecutor has requested that the case be dismissed without charge and has very scientifically addressed the 16 various grievances that were raised. I have only partly managed to convince the magistrates of that court – a combination of professional judges and members of parliament – of the same decision to dismiss the case. I have been held negligent but without penalty, without sanction, without registration of the decision. I am not satisfied with it, but there is a point in time when one has to just stop, turn the page and move on, and continue to work with those who have put their trust in me.

So I am very happy to not appeal this decision and to focus all my attention, all my time, all my efforts, all my energy and enthusiasm to my mission as head of the IMF.

I thank you very much, and I look forward to seeing you very soon. In the meantime, have a great, great holiday. Bye.

IMF Communications Department

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