By Miloš Mitrović – Belgrade
“I am glad to be here, and I will try to help Serbian citizens to resolve the national economy problems; I am aware that it will not be easy”, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former International Monetary Fund Director, who accepted to advise Serbian Government said at the press conference in Belgrade on Tuesday.
He said he will work pro bono for three months. Strauss-Kahn has accepted the post in Serbian government because he loves Serbia, as he said.
“Global economy does not work good. Serbian economy is in serious troubles, but I believe we can resolve them and make a success. I don’t have magic wand, but I think it is possible for the government to reach certain results”, Strauss-Kahn stressed. Asked whether he would recommend to the government new arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he said “it will depend on loan amount”.
Strauss-Kahn said that his team would need several months to prepare detailed plan for the economic recovery concept. “The choice between austerity and spending depends on concrete circumstances. The growth concept is the best”.
Asked whether he would request from the government to accept his advices and resign if they would not be applied, Strauss-Kahn said that “everything is on the table”. Nonetheless, he emphasized that he and his team would strive to give the best advices. “It is easy to give someone advice. Implementation is more complicated”. “It is up to government whether the advices will be implemented”, he added.
Strauss-Kahn had meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić – who offered him the adviser post in August – as well as with Finance Minister Lazar Krstić and Economy Minister Saša Radulović. Aleksandar Vučić said that he was satisfied because Strauss-Kahn accepted his offer. “Our final objective is to create healthy economy based on the profit, rather than on subsidies”, Vučić stressed.
Vučić explained that one part of Strauss-Kahn`s team would be based in Belgrade, and the other in Paris. However, the consultations would be permanent and decisions making would be in the best interest of Serbia, Vučić specified.
Vučić reiterated that he “does not want to comment the private life” of Dominique Strauss-Kahn. “There is no doubt that Mr Strauss-Kahn is economy expert”.
In a report on Tuesday, the New York Times writes that Stauss-Kahn, “whose career has been buffeted by a series of sexual scandals,” was reinventing himself again – this time as an economic adviser to the Serbian government.