And in Puerto Rico, the U.S. federal judge presiding over the island’s massive bankruptcy approved a deal Wednesday that would see creditors’ competing claims on the territory’s sales taxes approved by mid-December. The expedited timeline came as activists rallied outside the U.S. District Courthouse in San Juan, supporting a group of uninsured creditors who are asking for an investigation into Puerto Rico’s debt, citing possible conflicts of interest between members of the oversight board and bondholders. This is Eva Prados, a lawyer with the Citizen’s Front for the Auditing of the Debt.
Eva Prados: “What is happening in this court is not a common bankruptcy procedure. It is in fact the biggest bankruptcy procedure that has been held in all of the United States and which is going to define the economic future of Puerto Rico. Why are we favoring the motion presented by a group of creditors? Because we understand that the investigation proposed is an extremely important investigation. We understand that this committee of creditors has a precise interest in an evaluation of the legality of the debt, particularly in everything related to bank emissions. In that sense, they present a good opportunity to know the role of the banks in an objective manner.”
In the latest round of austerity measures, the oversight control board said this week it will slash the pensions for the majority of Puerto Rico’s retired workers by up to 25 percent and reduce the workday for all public workers, except police, by up to two days a month.