Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Finanzminister. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Finanzminister. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Τετάρτη, Αυγούστου 27, 2014

IMF chief charged with ‘negligence’ over graft case

Case relates to handling of $527-million state payout to disgraced tycoon.... 

IMF chief Christine Lagarde, one of the world's most powerful women, announced Wednesday she had been charged with "negligence" over a multi-million-euro graft case relating to her time as French finance minister.

The shock announcement came a day after she was grilled for more than 15 hours by a special court in Paris that probes ministerial misconduct, the fourth time she has been questioned in a case that has long weighed upon her position as managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

"The investigating commission of the court of justice of the French Republic has decided to place me under formal investigation," she said in exclusive comments to AFP.

In France, being placed under formal investigation is the nearest equivalent to being charged, and happens when an examining magistrate has decided there is a case to be answered.

It does not, however, always lead to a trial.

Asked whether she intended to resign from the IMF, she responded: "No." But her fate now hangs on what the IMF board of directors will decide.

"I have instructed my lawyer to appeal this decision which I consider totally without merit," said Lagarde, who replaced Dominique Strauss-Kahn as IMF chief in 2011 after he became embroiled in a New York sex scandal involving a hotel maid.

"I return back to Washington where I will indeed brief my board," she added.

The case relates to her handling of a 400-million-euro ($527-million) state payout to disgraced French tycoon Bernard Tapie in 2008, which investigating judges suspect may have been doled out in return for his support of ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy in the 2007 election.

The payout to Tapie was connected to a dispute between the businessman and partly state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais over his 1993 sale of sportswear group Adidas.

Tapie claimed Credit Lyonnais had defrauded him by intentionally undervaluing Adidas at the time of the sale and that the state, as the bank's principal shareholder, should compensate him.

Lagarde referred the dispute to a three-member arbitration panel that ruled in favor of Tapie and ordered the payout, which included 45 million euros in moral damages.

Investigating judges are seeking to determine whether the arbitration was a "sham" organized to reward Tapie for his support of Sarkozy.

The IMF chief has always denied having acted on the former president's orders. After a third grilling in March, she had said she "always acted in the interest of the country and in accordance with the law."

"After three years of procedure the only surviving allegation is that through inattention I may have failed to block the arbitration that put an end to the long standing Tapie litigation," Lagarde told AFP Wednesday.

She had until now avoided formal charges that could have forced her to quit as head of the IMF, and had instead been placed under a special witness status that forced her to come back for questioning when asked by the court.

Five people have also been charged in the case, including Stephane Richard, then Lagarde's chief of staff, now boss of telecoms giant Orange.

Questioning has in the past revolved around a signature stamp used in a letter dated from October 2007 that investigators think is crucial in determining who took the decision to resort to an arbitration panel.

Lagarde says she was unaware of the contents of the letter and has told judges it was stamped with her signature in her absence.

In France, those found guilty of "negligence" can be sentenced to a year in prison and a 15,000-euro fine.

Sources: AFP - globaltimes.cn

Τετάρτη, Απριλίου 02, 2014

Europe’s economic and financial outlook and its social impact, growth and banking sector issues on the agenda of the Informal ECOFIN meeting

The two-day informal meeting of the ECOFIN, as well as the 13. Joint ECOFIN / FEMIP Ministerial Meeting, organized by the Geek Presidency in Athens on 1-2 April had a full agenda and Ministers were able to exchange views on a number of key issues affecting Europe’s economy and financial situation.
In particular, Europe’s social problems and their implications for economic growth were discussed, based on a research and policy paper presented by Bruegel, which confirms the link between poverty and unemployment on the one hand and economic growth on the other. There was a fruitful discussion on how fiscal sustainability is negatively affected by social problems, as well as on concrete measures to be taken to address persistent unemployment and social insecurity, which constitute a major problem for the EU.

In conjunction with Central Bank Governors of Member States, Ministers discussed the economic outlook, growth prospects and financial stability in the EU. The discussions highlighted that the macro-economic situation is improving, but that complacency should be avoided. Sustainable growth, growth that tackles unemployment and social challenges will continue to depend on growth-friendly fiscal consolidation and structural reforms.
Furthermore, a very fruitful and constructive discussion and exchange of views took place based on the Commission Communication on long term financing of the economy (adopted on 27 March) and on the High-Level Experts Group (HLEG) Report on SME and Infrastructure financing of 11 December 2013. In this context, Ministers took stock of public and private initiatives at national level to improve access to capital markets, in light of the HLEG final recommendations and examined outstanding issues and public responses both at EU and national levels.
As far as the Preparation of the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings and the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting on 10-11 April in Washington is concerned, the EU Terms of Reference were endorsed along with the International Monetary and Finance Committee (IMFC) Statement, which focuses on the economic situation and outlook, policy challenges to strengthening economic recovery in the European Union, progress in financial regulation, and specifically IMF policy issues.
On the issue of banking structural reform, Ministers had the opportunity to hear a comprehensive presentation by the Commission on its proposal on banking structural measures improving the resilience of EU credit institutions. This was the first opportunity for Ministers to listen to the Commission, as well as to the Chair of the High-level Expert Group on Bank Structural Reform, Erkki Liikanen. Before kick-starting the regular legislative work, the Presidency deemed it useful to have an exchange of information and views on this very innovative legislative proposal. A close examination of the legislative initiative will be starting under the Greek Presidency, with meetings planned at working party level, but the work will definitely go well beyond the current semester.
There was also an exchange of views about the state of play on the implementation of the Single Supervisory Mechanism, on the basis of an update by the Chair of the ECB's Supervisory Board, Ms Danièle Nouy. The ECB is now steering Phase II of the Asset Quality Review. This AQR exercise will be crucial to deliver a thorough assessment of the degree of soundness of our banking system, especially within the SSM. For that purpose, stress tests will be an essential complement to the AQR. The detailed methodology for the stress tests will be published only later this month.
All in all, there was a good exchange on the SSM implementation, and there was a strong interest in following-up on this exchange when we may take stock of further major developments later in the year.
Ministers had a sort of “stock-taking” exchange on the EU’s Banking Union and on the Single Resolution Mechanism in particular, mainly on the way forward following the agreement reached by the Greek Presidency on this key file.
Moreover, interesting and fruitful discussions took place at the 13th Joint ECOFIN / FEMIP Ministerial Meeting, co-chaired by ECOFIN President, Yannis Stournaras, and Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, in presence of EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive. Discussions focused on the challenges and levers for sustainable growth and the new strategy of the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the Mediterranean: “Roadmap 2020”. Fostering growth and job creation, especially for young people, was a key aspect.
At the press conference, following the conclusion of the two days’ sessions, ECOFIN President Yannis Stournaras highlighted also recent provisional political agreements reached by the Greek Presidency on the Payments Account Directive (PAD) and on the Regulation on Key Information Documents - Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (KID - PRIIPs):
“The agreement on Payments Account Directive (PAD) is an important milestone for the deepening of the internal market and the reinforcement of competition in the financial services to the benefit of consumers”, he said.
On the KID - PRIIPs agreement, Minister Stournaras noted that it enhances investor confidence and protection: “We expect that this new approach of consumer-friendly rules on standards for information about these products will contribute to restoring confidence of investors in the markets, which we consider essential for ensuring sustainable economic growth in the coming years”.

In his overall assessment of the Informal Eurogroup and ECOFIN Meetings in Athens, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras stated:
“I am very pleased. We had very interesting discussions on the economic and financial situation, as well as on the financing of the SMEs”, the backbone of the European economy.

Τετάρτη, Ιουλίου 31, 2013

Greece to end free police protection for rich. Τhey will have to pay 2,000 euros ($2,650) per month for each officer acting as a bodyguard

Wealthy Greeks fearing attacks by anarchist groups will no longer be entitled to free police bodyguards in the latest cost-cutting plan from a government trying to meet budget targets set by international creditors.
The Public Order Ministry said on Tuesday that individuals with a net income of more than 100,000 euros ($132,500) a year will have to pay for their own police protection from potential terrorist and organised crime attacks. 

 Under the plan, they will have to pay 2,000 euros ($2,650) per month for each officer acting as a bodyguard and a daily fee of 50 euros for use of a patrol car.

The new pay-for-protection scheme still needs to be signed off by the Finance Ministry and will not include elected officials, judges, or public sector executives. Private citizens currently receiving police protection include prominent businessmen and journalists who have been repeatedly threatened by anarchist groups, though few of the warnings have been specific.

But there has been a resurgence of attacks lately amid growing public hostility toward those, whether in the public or private sector, seen as corrupt and incompetent and blamed for Greece's economic crisis.
It is the latest in a series of austerity measures that the Greek government has had to enact in recent years in return for bailout cash to avoid bankruptcy. However, the spending cuts and tax increases have come at a heavy cost to the Greek economy.

The country is in its sixth year of recession and the country's unemployment rate has spiked to over 25 percent.

The ministry declined to make any immediate comment on the number of officers involved in security details and the projected amount of money that would be saved.

"We must be careful this measure does not backfire ... There is a concern that we get to a point when someone with enough money can buy his own security, and someone who does not will be left more exposed," the head of the Greek Police Officers' Association Christos Fotopoulos told the Associated Press.
Last month, an armed group named Informal Anarchist Federation, which has links to other European armed groups, claimed responsibility for a series of parcel bomb attacks this year, one targeting the former director of the police's anti-terrorism division.
"The cops, the judges, journalists, politicians and washed-out anarchists thought they had gotten rid of us," the group said in a statement posted on the Internet. "This is a punch in the stomach to them, because urban guerrilla warfare is back and it will crush all their aspirations".
In a report on Monday, bailout monitors from the European Union pressed Greece to speed up cost-cutting reforms, including extensive public sector staff cuts, and announced that emergency taxes that have drastically cut into consumer spending are likely to be extended for another year, through 2016.

Σάββατο, Δεκεμβρίου 29, 2012

Le Conseil constitutionnel censure la taxe à 75%

Saisis par les parlementaires UMP, les Sages ont estimé que la taxe à 75% sur la fraction des revenus supérieurs à 1 million d'euros est contraire à la constitution. La taxe à 75% n'existe plus. Les sages garants de la Constitution ont censuré ce samedi le dispositif dont François Hollande avait fait un élément central de sa campagne. Saisi par les parlementaires UMP, le Conseil a estimé que ce dispositif figurant dans le budget 2013 rompt l'égalité des contribuables devant l'impôt. La mesure avait refait parlé d'elle ces derniers jours avec l'exil fiscal du comédien Gérard Depardieu en Belgique.

Cette taxation, appelée «contribution exceptionnelle de solidarité», devait s'appliquer pendant deux ans aux revenus d'activité excédant 1 million d'euros. Elle conduisait à les imposer à 75%. Le Conseil constitutionnel explique qu'il a, «sans se prononcer sur les autres griefs dirigés contre cet article, censuré l'article 12 pour méconnaissance de l'égalité devant les charges publiques». La censure du Conseil ne porte donc pas sur le caractère présumé confiscatoire de cette mesure dénoncé par ses détracteurs.
En clair, un ménage, dont chaque membre percevrait un revenu de 900.000 euros, se trouverait exempté, tandis qu'un autre, dont un seul membre gagnerait 1,2 million d'euros et l'autre rien, devrait l'acquitter. De quoi constituer «une rupture d'égalité au regard de la faculté contributive», a-t-on expliqué, à titre d'exemple, au Conseil. Cette mesure n'aurait touché que 1500 personnes.
Le gouvernement proposera un dispositif nouveau dans la prochaine loi de finances, ont annoncé les services du premier ministre.
Pierre Moscovici a indiqué que les dispositions fiscales censurées par le Conseil représentaient un manque à gagner de 300 à 500 millions d'euros. La trajectoire des finances publiques est maintenue», a déclaré le ministre de l'Économie au micro de BFMTV.

La tranche à 45% validée

La nouvelle tranche marginale à 45 % de l'impôt sur le revenu, a quant à elle été jugée conforme à la Constitution. Le Conseil a également validé le crédit d'impôt compétitivité-emploi (CICE) prévu dans le budget rectificatif 2012. Le crédit d'impôt, mesure phare du pacte de compétitivité issu du rapport Gallois, avait été critiqué par les parlementaires de l'UMP qui dénonçaient de «multiples ruptures d'égalité».
Autre dispositif dans le viseur des parlementaires UMP, le dispositif sur les plus-values de cessions de titres n'a pas été censuré. Cet article du budget de l'État avait fait grand bruit suite à la révolte des «pigeons» et du patronat qui réclamaient la suppression de cette taxe sur les plus-values.
D'une façon générale, les sages relèvent que le budget «accroît significativement les prélèvements obligatoires», «modifie la fiscalité des revenus du capital pour soumettre ceux-ci, dans la plupart des cas, au barème de l'impôt sur le revenu» et, troisièmement, réhausse les taux de l'impôt sur la fortune. Trois «orientations de fond» qu'ils n'ont «pas jugé contraire à la constitution».
Le projet de loi de finances pour 2013 et le projet de loi de finances rectificative pour 2012 ont été adoptés de manière définitive par le Parlement respectivement le 20 et le 19 décembre. 

  • France repeals 75% tax on high income
France's Constitutional Council has annulled a 75% tax rate on income above 1mn euros due to be introduced in 2013, which has already forced a number of wealthy residents to leave the country.
­Significant tax hikes including those on capital gains and on income above 1mn euros were a center piece of President Francois Hollande’s budget plan to cut the country’s 33bln euro budget shortfall next year. With tax increases Hollande’s Government expected to bring in up to €20bn extra. The government's 2013 budget was approved by parliament in September.
Facing harsh criticism from the French business community over the tax rises, the Government said it was considering easing the tax burden on small business earlier this year.
Last year 16 executives and wealthy investors signed a petition calling for a higher tax on the rich in a symbolic gesture to help the French economy, but they didn’t expect the tax rate could be as high as 75%. Many of them, including L’Oreal CEO Jean-Paul Agon criticized the rise.
The 75% rate for high earners was seen as largely symbolic since it would have only applied to some 1,500 people for a temporary period of two years.
Meanwhile, many of the wealthiest French have left the country to avoid tax. London, Brussels, and Luxemburg have become a popular destination among the French rich, including famous actor Gerard Depardieu. Depardieu announced his plans to renounce his French citizenship and to move to Belgium. It was also announced that Depardieu is due to sell his historic Paris mansion. Reports say the property is listed at $65 million.
Bernard Arnault, the boss of luxury goods group LVMH which includes Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton confirmed earlier in 2012 he had applied for Belgian citizenship.
The Belgian Foreign Minister said Brussels welcomed anyone planning to move to Belgium in an attempt to escape higher French taxes.
“If other French people want to come to Belgium, I'm not at all opposed,” Didier Reynders said in an interview with Le Figaro.

He emphasized that France shouldn't be blaming Belgium if some residents are leaving the country due to tax planning. “…It is totally fallacious to believe that we Belgians would do everything to attract the French. No! It turns out that for years, France has freely chosen a tax system that carries consequences and led the French to leave the country,” he added.
London saw the demand from wealthy French for luxury real estate soar as many top executives moved to the UK. Bruno Ladrière, a managing director at Paris-based private equity firm Axa Private Equity, and Bertrand Meunier, a managing director at CVC Capital Partners both relocated to London this year.

  • El Constitucional censura la tasa de Hollande a las grandes fortunas
El Consejo Constitucional francés ha decidido este sábado censurar el impuesto del 75% que el presidente François Hollande tiene previsto imponer a aquellos que ganen más de un millón de euros al año. Esta era una de las medidas clave del presidente francés desde su llegada al Elíseo el pasado mes de mayo. El proyecto entraba en vigor en 2013.
El 20 de diciembre la derecha francesa presentó a través del principal grupo de la oposición, la Unión por un Movimiento Popular (UMP) un recurso que ha sido ahora admitido por este grupo de sabios, que considera que esta medida violaba el principio de "igualdad en las cargas públicas". El problema radica en que el impuesto se aplica por individuo, y no por unidad familiar. Así, un hogar en el que todos sus miembros ganaran 900.000 euros estaría exento mientras que un individuo con una renta de 1,1 millones tendría que pagar el 75%.
El programa de Hollande, ratificado tras la victoria sobre Nicolas Sarkozy, incluye otras medidas como la anulación de las exenciones fiscales a los ciudadanos más ricos y la introducción de un nuevo tramo del 45% para las rentas superiores a 150.000 euros anuales, que sí ha sido considerada constitucional.
El ministro de Finanzas francés, Pierre Moscovici, ha asegurado que la decisión no aparta al Gobierno del cumplimiento de sus objetivos de déficit pero sí supone una pérdida para las arcas del Estado de entre 300 y 500 millones en 2013.
La medida ya ha generado una intensa polémica antes de entrar en vigor. El actor Gerard Depardieu cambió su residencia a Bélgia y reunció a su pasaporte francés en protesta. Sin embargo, varias encuestas en Francia mostraban un apoyo mayoritario de los franceses al proyecto del presidente socialista.

Πέμπτη, Οκτωβρίου 18, 2012

Schäuble-Plan - Bestimmt bald ein Grieche über unsere Finanzen?

Von Nikolaus Blome
Der Finanzminister auf Rückreise von Singapur nach Deutschland. Über sieben Stunden dauert allein der Flug von Singapur bis zur Zwischenstation Abu Dhabi am Persischen Golf.

Zeit genug für Finanzminister Wolfgang Schäuble, SEINEN Plan für ein neues Europa auszubreiten – ein Paukenschlag vor dem EU-Gipfel am Donnerstag. ​

Was will Schäuble?
Der EU-Währungskommissar in Brüssel soll mehr Macht bekommen. Euro-Länder, die zu viel neue Schulden machen (Etatdefizit), müssen ihm ihren Etat zur Genehmigung vorlegen – und er kann ablehnen. Ähnlich wie seit Jahrzehnten der EU-Wettbewerbskommissar bei Konzernfusionen. Heißt: Schuldenstaaten verlieren einen Teil ihrer Etathoheit, das Herz­stück nationaler Souveränität.​
Kann auch ein Grieche den Job bekommen?
Theoretisch ja. Bei der Postenvergabe in der EU-Kommission spielt die Nationalität offiziell keine Rolle. Inoffiziell aber schon.​
Was würde das für Deutschland bedeuten?
Nichts – solange sich die Bundesregierung an die Defizitvorgaben hält, die neuerdings auch im deutschen Grundgesetz stehen („Schuldenbremse“).​
Wer überwacht die EU-Kommission?
Das muss sich laut Schäuble radikal ändern. Das Europäische Parlament (Abgeordnete aus allen 27 EU-Staaten) soll sich von Fall zu Fall gleichsam aufspalten. Über Fragen zum Euro dürften dann nur noch Abgeordnete aus den Euro-Ländern abstimmen. Wie das praktisch funktionieren könne, ist hoch umstritten.​
Wann könnten die Vorschläge Realität werden?
Schäuble will Tempo. Aber für einen solchen Umbau müssen die EU-Verträge geändert werden. Das braucht meist zwei, drei Jahre.
Schäuble-Plan - Bestimmt bald ein Grieche über unsere Finanzen?

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