San Juan (Agenzia Fides) - "People are suffering, the crisis is getting worse in Puerto Rico", said Eric LeCompte, presenting the testimony as executive director of the coalition "Jubilee USA". LeCompte collaborates with different groups of UN experts on debt. "Debt restructuring is the key to ending this crisis, but the clock is ticking". As reported to Fides, the testimony was offered during the third meeting of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, FOMB. It is the first time that the Board meets on the island. The meeting allowed the Board to discuss the tax plan recently released by the governor of Puerto Rico Alejandro Garcia Padilla.
The Board has the authority to approve or reject the plan of the Governor, who provides government reform, infrastructure investment and minimal cuts to social services. The US Congress created the Board to address the ongoing debt and the fiscal crisis of this country.
The note sent to Fides reads that LeCompte urged the Board to pursue the restructuring of the global debt for the fight against poverty, for economy growth and to protect the island's investors. The economy of Puerto Rico is vulnerable to external shocks and urged the board to support a "hurricane clause" to temporarily halt debt payments in the event of unforeseen crisis.
The director of Jubilee USA ended his speech by reporting a statement of Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves, Archbishop of San Juan de Puerto Rico and Reverend Heriberto Martínez, General Secretary of the Bible Society of Puerto Rico. These religious leaders are at the forefront to defend the vulnerable communities, before the crisis that continues to take place. "We believe that plans, policies and debt restructuring are to be judged according to the impact on vulnerable populations", said LeCompte. "Those who have done nothing to create this crisis, are bearing the brunt of some of the worst aspects of the crisis", he concluded. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 19/11/2016)