New IMF head optimistic on economy as fund looks for fresh start

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Strauss-Kahn abruptly resigned from the helm of the IMF after being arrested in New York City for allegedly sexually assaulting a hotel maid. However, he recently was released by authorities after questions regarding the credibility of his accuser came to light. A fresh set of similar allegations have now been leveled against him by a French woman. His attorneys have threatened to countersue for slander.

While declining to discuss those legal issues, Lagarde did offer some kind words in the context of Strauss-Kahn's work at the IMF, crediting him for implementing "excellent reforms" while running the organization.

She also offered a critique of the media's treatment of Strauss-Kahn during the highly publicized drama.

"The presumption of innocence, something that is highly valued the world over ... it would be the honor of the media to actually respect that as well," she said.

But Lagarde also embraced some changes to the IMF since Strauss-Kahn's departure, emphasizing the need for diversity at the fund and calling a tougher ethics regime a "very good thing." A copy of Lagarde's contract made public by the IMF on Tuesday revealed ethics requirements she would have to meet, which had been added since Strauss-Kahn's tenure.

She similarly skirted questions when it came to the fund's next steps regarding Greece's debt crisis. The IMF board is scheduled to discuss further aid to the ailing nation on Friday.

"I'll be very sanitized in my responses simply because the matter is under review," she said when asked about Greece. "It's clearly a matter that is high on our agenda, and one that we will continue to work on."

She also vowed to ensure the fund's work will be candid and comprehensive, while ensuring all member nations receive sufficient attention.

"There is no one category of country that deserves special treatment," she said.