July 11 (Bloomberg) -- Europe's highest court said former French Prime Minister Edith Cresson, the central figure in an influence-peddling scandal that toppled the European Commission in 1999, should keep her retirement benefits.
The European Court of Justice said the former commissioner breached her duties when she hired a dentist friend as a personal adviser. This finding is ``an appropriate penalty'' and there's no need for Cresson to lose her EU pension of about 3,600 euros ($4,600) a month, the Luxembourg-based court ruled.
`In the light of the circumstances of the case, the court holds that the finding of that breach constitutes, in itself, an appropriate penalty,'' the court said.
Cresson in her submissions to the court denied the commission's accusations, describing the actions against her as a ``veritable war machinery.''
``The attacks against me were of an unimaginable violence,'' Cresson said in a telephone interview on July 10. ``With hindsight I would not have gone to the commission. It's like an occupied country in which everyone lives in terror.''bloomberg
Cresson was well known for making outspoken and often controversial comments. She was very critical of "Anglo-Saxon" nations and often condemned the culture and people of the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom. She often described homosexuality as being a largely Anglo-Saxon "problem" that had little relevance in France. Her strong criticism of Japanese trade practices likewise prompted her to use harsh rhetoric that some considered borderline racist (going as far as to compare the Japanese to "ants trying to take over the world").wiki