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Lazar Krstic ’07: saving Serbia?

If you were running a troubled European economy, you might want a finance minister with deep political experience and relationships. Or you might look for a Phi Beta Kappa Yale graduate who double-majored in math and Ethics, Politics & Economics and learned to crunch numbers as a McKinsey consultant.

That's the route the Serbian government has chosen in tapping Lazar Krstic ’07.

"Yale Prodigy to Save Serbia From Bankruptcy," blared one headline, two days before Krstic started his new job on August 26.

Another report takes a more balanced stance, noting "mixed reactions" to Krstic's appointment: the 29-year-old has "an impressive academic and professional record," but "his youth and lack of political experience raise questions about whether he is adequately equipped to handle the rough-and-tumble of Serbian politics."

With heavy national debt, the new finance minister is expected to try to renogatiate Serbia's International Monetary Fund loan agreement. And he says he'll reduce the budget deficit by at least 40 percent in the coming year.

No word on whether Krstic's own salary will be part of the spending cuts—though he reportedly once said that he “would rather work in Serbia for EUR 6,000 than in America for 60,000.”

Filed under Lazar Krstic, Serbia, economics
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