BEIJING (AP) — Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn began his return to public life Monday with a speech at a business conference in Beijing after the scandal earlier this year in New York over a sexual assault accusation.
Strauss-Kahn spoke at a conference organized by Chinese Internet company Netease. He did not mention his arrest in May or his resignation as managing director of the International Monetary Fund.
The case against Strauss-Kahn collapsed in August amid questions about the credibility of his accuser.
Strauss Khan called for closer European Union integration and a unified EU budget. He said measures adopted so far by European leaders were inadequate to solve Europe's economic crisis.
"We need to have the European Union being a real union. That is the only way to solve the crisis," he said.
Without effective action, Strauss-Kahn said he sees the possibility of Europe having no economic growth for five to seven years.
The scandal destroyed Strauss-Kahn's plans for a possible run for French president. New York prosecutors dropped an initial charge of attempted rape after they said they lost confidence in the hotel maid, Nafissatou Diallo, who made the accusation.
When asked if he were the French president one year from now instead of Nicolas Sarkozy what would he do differently, Strauss-Kahn said "I am not in a position to make any political comment."
The attempted rape charge badly damaged Strauss-Kahn's reputation, and other scandals — including allegations by a French writer that he sexually assaulted her during a 2003 interview and claims he was linked to a suspected hotel prostitution ring — have effectively ended his political career.
The Associated Press does not name people who report being sexually assaulted unless they agree to be identified or come forward publicly, as Diallo has done.
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