Govt. adviser says he'll "help improve Serbia's image"

Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić conferred in Belgrade on Friday with former Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer.

Source: Tanjug

Gusenbauer will be appointed as an advisor to the Serbian government on the EU integration issues.

"My desire is to help First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić and the government of Serbia to improve Serbia's image, as it will be the main prerequisite for the EU entry," Gusenbauer said.

"That is the image of a new Serbia which fights against corruption, establishes institutions and works on strategies for attraction of foreign investments, the one that wants to improve the economic situation and thus provide a better life for its citizens," he said.

Gusenbauer underlined that for the EU it is also very important that Serbia is stable, because only a stable Serbia, as a full-fledged member of the EU, will be able to guarantee the necessary stability to the region.

"I feel the positive energy in Serbia and therefore it was a great honor to be invited to help, said Gusenbauer.

Vučić said that the task of the former Austrian chancellor will be to use his reputation and contacts to help Serbia's EU pathway, reports Belgrade TV B92.

"Moreover, it is important that he comes from Austria - a country with which we have had a lot of tensions," Vučić said.

Gusenbauer said that when he got the invitation from Serbia he was surprised, but added that he was a member of Austria's negotiating team with the EU.

The EU is facing a big task- to bring in peace and stability in the Western Balkans which was torn by the war in the former Yugoslavia, he said.

A part of this job has already been done with the EU memberships of Croatia and Slovenia, but Serbia is the backbone of the Balkans, he added.

Gusenbauer hopes that he will manage to use his business contacts to attract investments in Serbia, stressing that he is very optimistic about the joint project.

"The reforms call for courageous leadership and energetic actions in order to implement the measures and become a successful EU member," he said.

Gusenbauer became Chancellor in January 2007 and held the office until December 2008.

After finishing his political career, Gusenbauer became a successful advisor and businessman operating in many countries including Chile, Germany and Kazakhstan, Tanjug reported.


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