DR1 - In his state of the nation speech on Monday, 27 February, President Leonel Fernandez summed up percentages of his two consecutive governments to render a positive report on his administration. He told an audience of enthusiastic government officers: "We are much better off now". He presented his administration as one that had made significant contributions to what he described as a democratic-institutional revolution, another revolution of public health and at the state university, the UASD.
He stressed the large number of public works and the sustained economic growth. He stated that despite the world financial crisis, the Dominican economy had grown 4. 5%, more than the Latin American average of 4. 3%. He said that direct foreign investment was up US$474. 8 million in 2011, for a total of US$2. 37 billion, making it one of the countries in Central America and the Caribbean to attract the most foreign capital. He says the Dominican peso has only depreciated 3. 3%, in contrast to currencies in Mexico, Brazil and Chile that have declined around 10% to the US dollar. He highlighted the long-standing agreements with the IMF and controls to the electricity tariff. He also used statistics to show that public investment in education was up 500%. He said that from a budget of RD$12. 7 billion in 2004, the budget is now RD$45. 8 billion in 2012 and would be RD$58. 5 billion in 2012. He also highlighted having granted 10,000 masters degree and scholarships for studies abroad and 14,000 scholarships for studies in Dominican universities.
In his speech, he said that poverty rate had declined 10 points, going from 42% in 2004 to 32% in 2011. He said this means there are 800,000 fewer people living in extreme poverty in the Dominican Republic, which he attributed to government welfare programs.
The full speech can be downloaded from Read original at DR1.
(Posted 21:59 Tuesday by DRSol NewsHound. Viewed 45 times.)