AMERICA/PUERTO RICO - Jubilee USA Network coalition: Puerto Rico needs significant debt relief

Saturday, 28 January 2017 development   politics   economy  

Washington DC (Agenzia Fides) - Puerto Rico's "control" board meets January 28 as the island's financial crisis deepens. In a January 18 letter, the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico noted that the island can likely only afford to pay approximately 20% of the debt payments it owes over the next three years.
The letter sent to Fides recalls that Congress created the board as part of legislation last summer to address the US territory's $70 billion debt crisis.
"The board recognizes that Puerto Rico needs significant debt relief to rebuild its", noted Eric LeCompte, executive director of the religious development coalition Jubilee USA. LeCompte testified at the board's November meeting (see Fides 19/11/2016).
"If negotiations with creditors fail to achieve a significant debt reduction, the board needs to authorize the court arbitrated bankruptcy process", he said.
"Congress has a lot on its plate right now, but it must not forget Puerto Rico", said LeCompte to Fides. "Millions of American citizens in Puerto Rico are waiting for Washington to do its part to end this 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". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 28/01/2017)