Serbia head of central bank resigns

March 23, 2010 12:00 am

, BELGRADE, Mar 23 – The head of the Serbian central bank Radovan Jelasic said Tuesday he was resigning for personal reasons and stressed he faced no political pressure to quit.

"Today I will ask that my contract be terminated. I resign for personal reasons (…) I will work as the governor until the parliament elects a new one," he said.

Jelasic has clashed with the government on how to handle an economic downturn. The central bank governor was a vocal critic of high public spending and advocated strong fiscal and monetary discipline.

After reaching a deal with the International Monetary Fund for a 3.0-billion-euro (4.0-billion-dollar) standby loan last year Serbia pledged to cut consumption by freezing public wages and pensions by April 2011 and to reduce its budget deficit to 4.0 percent of gross domestic product.

In February an IMF mission warned that Serbia "cannot afford to return to its pre-crisis model of growth" based on high consumption and low domestic savings and low exports.


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