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news 22 Aug 13

Serbia Seeks Austrian Ex-Chancellor's Advice

Former Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer is likely to accept an invitation to advise the Serbian government on economic policy and EU integration.

Tanjug, BIRN
Belgrade

Alfred Gusenbauer said he was positive about the Serbian government's offer of an advisory position in the field of EU integration and economy.

The former Austrian Chancellor confirmed that he had already discussed the issue with Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic last Friday but has yet to seal the deal.

"After Slovenia and Croatia's [EU] membership, Serbia's path to the EU is the next important step towards the stabilization of the region of former Yugoslavia and the entire Western Balkans," Gusenbauer said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Serbian daily newspaper Vecernje Novosti reported that Gusenbauer is close to accepting the offer to be Vucic's advisor for politics, economy and European integration.

He has considerable experience, especially in European integration, as well as important contacts in international diplomatic circles.

In recent weeks Vucic has been holding intensive talks with experts from several European countries in an effort to convince some of them to take up posts in Serbia's reshuffled government.

Among those canvassed has been the scandal-haunted French former chief of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

A member of Austria's Social Democratic Party, Gusenbauer spent most of his political career as a parliamentarian. From January 2007 to December 2008 he was Chancellor of Austria.   

He is currently a consultant to a number of companies across the world - from Chile to Kazakhstan. Gusenbauer is fluent in Italian, French and Spanish.

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