More than two years after resigning in disgrace as the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is making a comeback — in Serbia.
Strauss-Kahn has been hired as an economic adviser to Serbia’s top officials.
An announcement of the appointment will be made next week, a government official told ABC News. “There are only technical details to be settled. We will know more on Tuesday,” the official said. “Mr. Strauss-Kahn will advise the prime minister, the deputy prime minister, finance minister and economy minister on managing the country’s debt.”
Strauss-Kahn, who was once considered a front-runner to be France’s president, will not move to Serbia.
“He will come to Serbia from time to time, but will not live here,” the official said. The terms of Strauss-Kahn’s compensation were not released except to say that he would be paid monthly.
Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia’s powerful deputy prime minister, said in an interview with state TV that Strauss-Kahn “will help Serbia to reprogram its debts,” adding that the 64-year-old silver-haired economist “was not in particular satisfied and happy when he saw our balances but already offered several solutions.”
Vucic said that the charges against Strauss-Kahn did not tarnish his reputation as a financial expert. “Big (painter) Picasso treated women and children very badly, while some other people, like Hitler, loved women. If you are going to judge people like that, then you could judge Strauss-Kahn badly.”
“I am interested in him as an expert and a man who could help Serbia,” Vucic said.
Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York in 2011 on charges that he sexually assaulted a maid in a New York hotel. Those charges were eventually dropped, but he later faced charges in France of involvement in a ring that obtained prostitutes for sex parties. Those charges were also dropped.
Strauss-Kahn is re-emerging in a much smaller role than he once had. Serbia is one of Europe’s poorest countries. Its economy shrank 1.7 percent in 2012, it’s unemployment rose to 24 percent, while its growing public debt has already exceeded 60 percent of gross domestic product.