Hundreds of Puerto Ricans protest, decry austerity measures

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – Lots of of Puerto Ricans took to the streets of the island’s capital on Wednesday to protest austerity measures as anger builds over an unrelenting financial disaster that has hit the working class particularly exhausting.

Protesters clutched posters decrying austerity measures together with new taxes, will increase in utility payments and looming furloughs and cuts to a public pension system dealing with almost $50 billion in liabilities.

“They’re profiting from us poor staff. We didn’t steal. We aren’t corrupt,” learn one poster held up by 70-yr-previous Eva Feliciano, a retired authorities employee who stated she typically can’t afford to purchase the groceries she and her husband want.

Protesters shielded themselves from a blazing solar as meteorologists warned of a warmth index that would attain one hundred ten levels. The gang converged on the workplaces of a federal management board created by U.S. Congress final yr to supervise Puerto Rico’s funds. The board earlier this week sued Gov. Ricardo Rossello for refusing to implement measures together with a ten % reduce to a public pension system that officers say is operating out of cash and furloughs which are supposed to enter impact on Friday.

Puerto Ricans have joined the governor in rejecting the board’s calls for.

“The measures which are being authorised have an effect on everybody in Puerto Rico,” stated Luis Pedraza, chief of a union that represents some 20,000 staff in the private and non-private sector.

He warned that if individuals do not protest, they are going to be hit with further measures to generate extra money for bondholders demanding cost amid multimillion-greenback defaults as Puerto Rico tries to restructure a portion of its $seventy four billion public debt.

Becoming a member of the protest have been dozens of staff from the island’s public energy firm who launched a 24-hour strike that pressured the company to briefly shut its workplaces. Amongst them was 39-yr-previous Christian Garcia, who stated his household has reduce on TV, web and grocery purchasing amid the disaster.

Close by, a number of retired cops held up posters demanding the federal government pay their pensions in full. At present, cops and academics in Puerto Rico don’t obtain Social Safety and rely solely on the crumbling public pension system.

Diego Figueroa, who retired in 2003 after…

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