Serbia contacts Strauss-Kahn over cooperation: Official
Belgrade: Serbia`s Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said he spoke with shamed former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn over a possible advising position in the government.
"We spoke very briefly about a possibility of cooperation," Vucic told B92 private television channel yesterday.
Strauss-Kahn "will certainly not be a minister, but he could be an adviser" and help the government "deal with public debt" and other economic issues, Vucic said, giving no further details.
A government source on Tuesday said Prime Minister Ivica Dacic`s Socialist-led coalition government had made contact with the 64-year-old economist ahead of a planned cabinet reshuffle, but a source from Strauss-Kahn`s office flatly denied the talks.
"We have only made the first contact" but Strauss-Kahn was seeking "a lot of money," the Serbian government source told AFP.
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.
Last week, French prosecutors said he would face trial on pimping charges along with 12 others over an alleged prostitution ring.
Vucic said that the accusations against Strauss-Kahn were a "problem of some other states," not Serbia`s.
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 an interview broadcast yesterday on Russian television that his political career was over and he was instead working as an economic adviser.
The Serbian government is planning a reshuffle in the coming weeks in a bid to focus on Serbia`s European Union membership ambitions and kickstart economic recovery.
Serbia`s growing public debt has already exceeded 60 percent of gross domestic product. The Balkans country`s economy contracted by 1.7 percent in 2012.
Prime Minister Dacic said Tuesday he would oust Finance and Economy Minister Mladjan Dinkic within the reshuffle in order to speed up economic recovery.