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IMF Strauss-Kahn: “Greeks are steeped in Shit – and yet very deep ”

International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, bon viveur, chaud lapin and real gentleman, used an unprecedented, not at all ‘comme il faut‘ language to describe what he thinks of The Greek people. “Greeks are steeped in shit” he said during a documentary about his life filmed by French channel Canal Plus. Mr IMF chose unacceptable, abusive and offensive descriptions to express his views about the Greek economic realities and the circumstances under which the greater part of Greek people live.

The man who wants to be a King – ops, sorry! – President of the French Republic, said among others that “Tax evasion is a national sport” and continued: 

“The Greeks feel that they have been cheated and yet it is them who ‘cooked’ the statistics and who do not pay their taxes”.

“In Greece there are some who do not have bread to eat and people engaged in tax evasion as a national sport.”

“Fraud is widespread”.

“Had the assistance of IMF  not been asked, Greece would have fallen in to the abyss.

He refered to Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou as being “very emotionally moved” when he asked the aid of IMF in December 2009.  In this documentary Strauss-Khan revealed the George Papandreou had asked the assistance of IMF just two months after winning the elections of  September 2009. See our Article: Strauss-Kahn’s bombshell: Greece asked IMF’s aid already in December 2009.

In Greece we have an expression when somebody speaks using a rude, insulting and cursing language. We say euphemistically that the person “speaks French”. Now I understand the origins of this expression. To tell you the truth my original post was written in “French” language, too. However on second thought, I decided to keep my position as impartial journalist and not to fall as low as the Chief of International Monetary Fund.

You can enjoy the documentary of a real gentleman Dominique Strauss-Kahn next Sunday. For Detail, check with Canal+.  Read the Full Article about DSK’s interview in Greek Daily TA NEA

As we don’t have footage from the CanalPlus interview, here is footage from a 2009 video with DSK in Turkey

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  1. Just write “dominique strauss-kahn scandal” in the Google search engine and you will get a good idea about this guy.

    For all those (Greeks among them…) calling the GIPS or GIIPS (peripheral EZ countries) PIGS or PIIGS, see this post of mine:

    Also take a look at this post of mine about the Greek economic crisis and all the inaccuracies in the western media, or reproduce it in your web site, if you wish:

  2. Keep Talking Greece

    thanks for the links – I chose not to fall as low as he 🙂

  3. Keep Talking Greece

    can I have a shorter version of “Greek economic crisis and the western inaccuracies” for this website? max 500-600 words?

  4. Excuse me but, as a French-to-English translator for nearly 20 years, I would just like to point out that the author of this “report” has fallen into the classic trap of translating a text on a word by word basis!
    Indeed, Mr Strauss-Kahn said the Greeks “sont dans la merde”, but that is a very common way of saying that someone is in deep difficulties.
    Under no circumstances is that expression used to compare someone to “shit”, as this report strongly implies! It is used all the time, often when people talk about their very own situation, as in: I lost my job, “je suis dans la merde!”
    As for the rest, the IMF chief is absolutely right; The Greeks cheated the EU by cooking their books, but here we are talking about the government, not the people.
    On the other hand, it is true that tax cheating is a national sport in Greece, and I have yet to hear a single Greek person deny it.
    My last point is that I have always appreciated Greece and the Greeks. You have a great civilization and culture, and I am sure you will dig yourself out of this “merdier”.
    Warm regards to all!

    • Fully agree a IMF official should use better words, yet what he said is the grim reality…
      At what point will greeks acknowledge the fact that being part of Europe doesnt mean only a bonanza of funds but also the need to respect the common set of rules that all countries are subjected to?
      Figures and statistics tend to reveal the truth, so have a look at the following report which demonstrates the extend of the problem…
      Greeks, WAKE UP, let s focus on solving the problem, not on how best to describe it!

  5. keeptalkinggreece

    we have the same expression in Greek too. As in French, we can use it both literally or metaphorically with the same meanings as in French. As the author of this article I would expect from the IMF chief, the main lender of Greece, to have the culture and say something like “ils sont dans de gros problèmes” or whatever.
    it’s a matter of political correctness.

  6. OK, I appreciate your narrowing the matter down to political correctness or perhaps the use of appropriate language. But still, you should not translate his comments as “Greeks are steeped in shit” because that is both a very wrong translation of his comments and highly inflammatory.
    Greeks are going through a very rough time (I know, as a translator for financial markets in Europe, I am more aware) and are naturally susceptible to reacting to this sort of provocation.
    Best regards

    • keeptalkinggreece

      you mean a translation like “Greeks are deep in the shit” would be … nicer and softer? Greeks didn’t feel provocated by my translation but through the reproduction of Strauss-Kahn’s statements through hundreds of blogs and websites, not to mention the newspapers and television channels, even in state tv they reported about it in clear Greek “Οι Ελληνες ειναι βουτηγμενοι στα σκατα”. Just google it!