Greeks wage Facebook war with IMF chief

The managing director of the International Monetary Fund received more than 10,000 messages, many of them obscene, on her page on the online social network — where her postings typically draw a couple of hundred comments.

Made to eat her words: Following her comment about Greeks being tax dodgers, users uploaded obscene messages on Christine Lagarde’s Facebook page. Pic/AFP

Later, a separate Facebook page had sprung up titled “Greeks are against Lagarde”. Its creators described it as “the page through which to show displeasure as a nation towards Lagarde!”, with a picture of the IMF chief.

Greeks accused Lagarde on her page of belittling their suffering in an economic crisis that has seen salaries and pensions cut, in a recession now in its fifth year. Lagarde told a newspaper in an interview published on Friday that Greeks must “help themselves” by all paying taxes, saying she was more concerned about Africans in poverty than Greeks in the economic crisis.

“You should say that to the relatives of the 3,000 Greeks that have committed suicide, to the one million unemployed,” wrote a Facebook user under the nickname Ntavos Paok. “You should tell your countrymen, who were many years in colonial Africa enriching themselves by stealing from the grandparents of the children you so hypocritically think of by comparing them with Greeks.”

Following the barrage of rants against her, Lagarde was forced to express sympathy for the Greek people. Lagarde took to the site to say she was “very sympathetic to the Greek people”.  But she reiterated that everyone should pay their taxes.

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