An estimated 100,000 Puerto Rican workers and students marched on the capitol last Friday to protest a government plan to lay off 30,000 public sector employees. The plan, which also calls for a temporary hike in income taxes and increased sales taxes on wine, is intended to close an annual budget deficit of $3.2 billion.
Puerto Rico’s economy was suffering even before the global economic downturn. Unemployment is currently at 14.7 percent, and the recession, in its third consecutive year, has reached “historic proportions” according to Caribbean Business Online. Government officials predict it will continue through summer 2011.
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