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PRESS RELEASE


Bankers Order Puerto Rico To Commit Suicide

Aug. 27, 2015 (EIRNS)—A draft copy of the five-year Fiscal Adjustment and Economic Recovery Plan that the Puerto Rican government is expected to present on Sept. 1 is a program for economic suicide, not unlike the one what Greece has been ordered to impose by the murderous Troika. One billion dollars in cuts to health, education, social services, and labor rights is posed as the key to the island’s "recovery," along with a restructuring of its unpayable $72 billion debt. Combined, these are supposed to lead to $1 billion in increased revenue.

The folly of such thinking has already been proven in Greece.

Although the island government cautions that what was publicized by El Nuevo Dia on Aug. 26 is only a draft, and that "other options" are being considered, if the final version is anything close to the draft, the results of its implementation will be catastrophic on an island whose income per capita is half that of the state of Mississippi. Governor Garcia Padilla’s office admits that the basis for the draft was the late-June report issued by three former IMF officials, including former Deputy Managing Director Ann Kruger, whose history of imposing brutal austerity on poor nations earned her the label "Freddy Kruger’s Mother," from the horror movie "Nightmare on Elm Street."

Puerto Rico’s poverty rate stands at 45%. The draft calls for cuts in Medicaid benefits and other unspecified cuts in healthcare; closing schools, urging teachers to take early retirement, and reforming the teachers’ pension system. It also proposes to make labor laws "more flexible," to curtail or eliminate workers’ benefits, making it easier to fire workers and to hire younger workers at lower pay with no benefits. The program demands that the minimum wage be frozen, and vacation time reduced, among other cruel recommendations.