Japan finance minister under fire for Nazi comment

Finance Minister P Chidambaram seeks support on Insurance, Pension bills

Aso often speaks in a meandering style that has gotten him in trouble for off-the-cuff remarks in the past. He has apologized previously for accusing the elderly of being a burden on society, joking about people with Alzheimer’s disease, saying the ideal country would be one that attracts “the richest Jewish people,” and comparing the opposition Democratic Party of Japan to the Nazis. On Thursday, Aso insisted that he was referring to the Nazis “as a bad example of a constitutional revision that was made without national understanding or discussion.” “If you listen to the context, it is clear that I have a negative view of how the Weimar constitution got changed by the Nazi regime,” he said. “This is a constitution for all,” Aso said.

City of Miami hires county finance staff to stabilize troubling budget issues

Thats basically what I was given, a spreadsheet, said Alfonso, now the citys chief financial officer. Im looking at the spreadsheet and all I could say was, wow. The city was the target of a federal investigation into its finances after years of debilitating budget deficits that cut reserves razor thin. Employee salaries and benefits were being slashed to balance the books, and top financial administrators were leaving at a furious pace. Two years later, challenges remain, after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently came down hard on the city for the shell game played by Miami financial leaders when they sold bonds in 2007 and 2008.

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso is surrounded by reporters at the ministry in Tokyo Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013.

Chidambaram had a discussion with BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Yashwant Sinha on the financial bills that have been listed for consideration during the session. The BJP leaders agreed to support routine and necessary financial business but indicated that the party will continue to oppose further opening of the insurance and pension sectors to foreign direct investment (FDI). “He (Chidambaram) came to discuss financial legislation that the government plans to bring in the monsoon session. There was agreement on some suggestions made by the Finance Minister, but disagreement on others,” BJP spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain said. In the insurance sector, the government proposes to increase the FDI cap to 49 per cent from 26 per cent, which the BJP opposes.

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