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Puerto Ricans react to default

Thursday, August 06, 2015 - 01:26

Citizens of Puerto Rico have mixed reactions to the island's recent debt default, with some blaming the government, and others expressing hope. Bobbi Rebell reports.

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Mixed reactions in Puerto Rico in the days following the U.S. territory's debt default. Some citizens, like Samuel Morales, pointing fingers at the government. (SOUNDBITE) PUERTO RICO RESIDENT, SAMUEL MORALES, (SPANISH WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION) SAYING: "Things are bad for the same reason they always are: people are voting for the same politicians that are sinking this country. They've been sinking us since 1952, and that's why we're in the state we're in, with the debt that we have." While others, like Jonathan Rivera, are optimistic the island will recover. (SOUNDBITE) PUERTO RICO RESIDENT, JONATHAN RIVERA, (SPANISH WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION) SAYING: "On the island, the government is in bankruptcy, according to the news. We're in the same situation as other countries. The future? Well, if it follows the norm, things will go downhill, but if we put our house in order, I think there's still a future." The commonwealth defaulted on its debt earlier in the week by paying only $628,000 of the $58 million due on its Public Finance Corp, or PFC, bonds. Economist Antonio Rosado told Reuters, the government was "the main party responsible." (SOUNDBITE) PUERTO RICAN ECONOMIST, ANTONIO ROSADO, (SPANISH WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION) SAYING: "I call it the five horsemen of the Apocalypse. They must resolve the problems of the Electric Power Authority, they must resolve the problems of the Aqueducts and Sewer Authority, they must resolve problems with health reform, we must resolve the problems of the University of Puerto Rico and the Department of Education, which are the bulk of government spending in Puerto Rico, and there's bad management in each of these." The Obama administration has said it does not envision a bailout.

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Puerto Ricans react to default

Thursday, August 06, 2015 - 01:26