French split on Strauss-Kahn’s return
PARIS — A new poll indicates that French people are divided over whether Dominique Strauss-Kahn should re-enter French politics after the weakening of the sexual assault case against the former International Monetary Fund chief.
Forty-nine percent of those surveyed in the Harris Interactive poll for French newspaper Le Parisien responded “yes” to the question “Without prejudging his innocence or guilt, do you want DSK to come back to the French political scene one day?”
Forty-five percent said “no” and 6 percent didn’t answer the question, according to the poll published Sunday in Le Parisien. The agency asked a demographically representative group of 1,000 people 18 years old and older to fill out the July 1 and 2 online survey. No margin of error was provided.
Left-leaning voters were more favorable to a return to politics by Mr. Strauss-Kahn, the man who was once the Socialist Party’s main contender to face off against President Nicolas Sarkozy in April’s presidential election.
Sixty percent of left-leaning voters said they would want Mr. Strauss-Kahn back in French politics someday, according to the poll, and 38 percent said “no.”
On the more pressing question of whether the Socialists should suspend the presidential primary calendar because of the new developments, respondents also were evenly split. Forty-nine percent of all French and 47 percent of left-leaning voters said “no.”
Clashes reported at high-speed rail protest
ROME — Italian police clashed with thousands of demonstrators protesting the construction of a high-speed rail linking Italy to France.
News reports said some 45 police and Carabinieri officers were injured Sunday in the demonstrations west of Turin in the Val di Susa area. At least five people were arrested.
Construction on the Italian side was brought to a standstill by protests before and after the Turin Winter Olympics in 2006. This week, protests resumed after a new construction site opened in Chiomonte.
Many residents between Turin and the French border say a high-speed train line would ruin the area, and they object to the drilling of a tunnel that they claim could release potentially harmful materials.