Japan finance minister under fire for Nazi comment

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

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. “I just don’t want (the revision) to be decided amid a ruckus.” The Nazis’ rise to power in the early 1930s amid the economic crisis brought on by the Great Depression was facilitated by emergency decrees that circumvented the Weimar constitution. So was Adolph Hitler’s seizure of absolute power after he was made chancellor in 1933.

Serbian PM moves to oust finance minister, risking election

Dacic told a news conference he had proposed to his coalition partners that the government move on “without (Mladjan) Dinkic and his URS (United Regions of Serbia) party.” The biggest party in the coalition, the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), said it would respond to the proposal on Wednesday. “If SNS does not accept this, there are two possible choices ahead – elections or a coalition without the SPS,” Dacic said, referring to his own Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS). Without the 16 seats of Dinkic’s URS, the coalition would still retain a slim majority in parliament. But his departure would likely unnerve investors worried about Serbia’s growing budget gap and public debt, which have all but buried hopes of a new precautionary loan deal with the International Monetary Fund.

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

What accounts for the change? Certainly, hungry home buyers gobbling up real estate and lower pension payouts have helped shore up the citys finances. Perhaps more important, though, is that over the past two years Miami has raided Miami-Dade County of experienced financial administrators. Alfonso spent 17 years at County Hall, serving as a budget coordinator before joining Miami.

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