Finance board plans special meeting

The three charges against Papaconstantinou are breach of trust, doctoring an official document and dereliction of duty. If convicted, he faces a prison sentence. Papaconstantinou served as finance minister from October 2009 to June 2011, and was finance minister when Greece negotiated its first international bailout. Because he is a lawmaker, Parliament has to approve the lifting of immunity before any prosecution can proceed. In a secret ballot late Monday, 220 deputies in the 300-seat Parliament voted in favor of the former minister being prosecuted for at least one charge, and 166 for all three.

Finance chiefs back government stimulus programs

“Many of our citizens wanted to be able to ask questions to the board and to understand the process and we felt we should create a venue for people to be able to do so,” Bosak said. “And hopefully compel the assessor’s office to be able to come and answer questions.” Independent finance board member Kathleen Murphy said residents are outraged by what they see as inconsistencies in house and property valuations. Murphy, who owns a house in Shippan, has filed a legal action in court to protest her recent revaluation, which sent her tax bill soaring by more than $10,000. “I think there were quite a few irregularities and then when we went through the appeal process we didn’t really get to present our case and hear the assessor’s case,” Murphy said. “There’s a real problem with the process.” Abbazia, who also lives in Shippan, said he wonders whether the city’s 2012 property revaluation, which included a laborious physical inspection of all 40,000 property parcels, was performed thoroughly.

Greece’s former finance minister should be prosecuted, lawmakers say

Former socialist Finance minister George Papaconstantinou at the Greek Parliament in Athens on January 17, 2013.

“Growth and creating jobs remains our priority,” the statement from the finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of 20 countries said. It added that the governments in the organization, which collectively represent about 90 percent of the world’s economic activity, “are fully committed to taking decisive actions to return to a robust, job-rich growth path.” Previous communiques issued after such meetings had also indicated support among some members for balancing budgets, not just spending to get out of recession. In this light, Saturday’s statement suggested the weight of policy consensus in large governments was shifting toward continued stimulus. While not openly critical of austerity measures like the across-the-board automatic federal budget cuts in the United States, the statement suggested most governments see recovery as too weak to risk reducing spending on unemployment benefits, job training, education and other public sector outlays. Not even Germany objected to the new wording, said a senior Treasury Department official who attended the two days of meetings in Moscow.

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