• France's news in English

Strauss-Kahn relaunches finance career... in Serbia

AFP/The Local · 17 Sep 2013, 16:34

Published: 17 Sep 2013 16:34 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn pledged Tuesday to do his best to help Belgrade revive its ailing economy as he began to advise the Serbian government.

"It's not going to be easy ... There are some real problems but I think it's possible" to solve them, Strauss-Kahn said at a press conference held jointly with Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic.

Strauss-Kahn said that after a thorough analysis of the economic situation in Serbia his team "will see with the government what kind of advice we can provide."

But, the 64-year-old warned that the most difficult task was up to the government.

"It's always easier to be an advisor than to be the government" which has to undertake and implement decisions, said Strauss-Kahn who spoke in English.

The former IMF chief stressed that contact with the Serbian government was established through the head of the Arjil investment bank, Wladimir Mollof, who has a contract with Belgrade and who had asked him to "join the team".

Strauss-Kahn said that during the first three months of his collaboration with Belgrade he would work for free and added that later remuneration would be considered afterwards.

Asked by journalists whether Strauss-Kahn's involvement in alleged sexual scandals in the past could harm the Serbian government's image, Vucic said that the only thing Belgrade was interested in were his competences in economic issues.

Strauss-Kahn resigned from his IMF job following his 2011 arrest over an alleged sexual assault on a New York hotel maid, but eventually reached an undisclosed financial settlement with his accuser.

French prosecutors have said he will face trial on pimping charges along with 12 others over an alleged prostitution ring.

"We are not ashamed to say that he knows much more about economy than all of us ... and that in his address book he has more contacts from the world of finances than all of us together" in the government, Vucic said.

Story continues below…

Strauss-Kahn, who was once considered a serious candidate for the French presidency, has recently sought to return to public life, appearing at economic conferences in France and abroad and setting up an office in Paris.

But he said in July that his political career was over and he was instead working as an economic advisor.

International Monetary Fund experts believe the Serbian government needs to introduce severe budget cuts, including public administration costs and pensions.

Serbia's economy shrank 1.7 percent in 2012 while unemployment rose to 24 percent. Its growing public debt has already exceeded 60 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available