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Guatemala’s incoming government led by Otto Pérez will have its work cut out. Almost $2 billion more needed to face challenges

Friday, November 18, 2011

One of the highest poverty levels in Latin America, one of the highest murder rates in the world, and much-needed political and tax reforms are some of the pressing challenges that will face Guatemalan president-elect Otto Pérez Molina.

The challenge now will be for the new government to keep its promise to bolster social spending. In order for the state to obtain the resources necessary to meet its obligations, the legislature must urgently approve an overhaul of the tax system, which Colom was unable to push through despite several attempts, due to fierce opposition from the private sector.

In order for the future government to live up to its pledge to double the budget for agriculture, provide security, jobs, education and healthcare, an additional $1.7 billion could be needed on top of the $7.6 billion budget for 2012.

Original source: Inter-Press Service