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Puerto Rico workers protest fiscal emergency bill

May 21, 2014

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Dozens of government employees on Wednesday protested a bill that would impose austere fiscal measures to help strengthen the economy of the U.S. territory.

The administrative offices of several agencies including the Electric Energy Authority remained closed as a result of the protest, which forced Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla to cancel his public activities for the day.

Union leaders said they would provide more details at a press conference scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Legislators are expected to debate the bill that calls for a reduction in government spending and changes in agreements with unions, among other things. Garcia has said the bill is needed to help Puerto Rico deal with the consequences of having its credit rating recently downgraded to junk status.

The island is entering its eighth year in recession and battling a $73 billion public debt.

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