Serb economy, finance ministers to meet Dominique Stross-Kahn on Sep 17

By bne IntelliNews September 16, 2013

Serb deputy PM Aleksandar Vucic, finance minister Lazar Krstic and economy minister Sasa Radulovic will meet on Tuesday, Sep 17, former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who has agreed to consult the government in Belgrade on economic issues.

The meeting will take place in Belgrade at 11pm local time and a press conference will be held an hour later, the government said in a brief statement.

The parties are expected to discuss the technical details of their forthcoming cooperation.

Serbia has hired Strauss-Kahn as part of a recent government reshuffle aimed at putting the focus of governance on reviving the economic growth and reducing unemployment - as the country is about to open EU accession talks in January 2014. The GDP shrank 1.7% in 2012, while the jobless rate currently is among the highest in the region at nearly 25%. The government also needs to restructure its public debt, which went far beyond the legally allowed 45%/GDP limit to reach over 60% of GDP.

Strauss-Kahn is not the only foreign expert the Serbian government (led by Aleksandar Vucic's SNS party) has lured. Former Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer has also accepted Vucic's offer to become his advisor on Belgrade's EU integration aspirations. The country reached a milestone earlier this year when it signed a historic reconsiliation deal with its former province of Kosovo. The deal managed to convince the EU in Serbia's firm ambition to apply the European rules and standards and the country received the green light to start membership talks early next year. 

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