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Puerto Rico to cut budgets, renegotiate loans following credit downgrade

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Puerto Rico's governor says he is renegotiating the payment of short-term debt and has ordered all government agencies to reduce their current budgets by 2 per cent after the island's credit rating was downgraded to junk status.

Alejandro Garcia Padilla made the announcement Wednesday on radio station WKAQ.

Spokeswoman Paola Figueroa tells The Associated Press that the governor will make additional announcements later Wednesday in response to the downgrade.

Garcia said Tuesday that he also would be submitting legislation to further reduce the deficit and would present a deficit-free budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Puerto Rico is in its eighth year of recession while struggling with $70 billion in public debt and a 15.4 per cent unemployment rate, higher than any U.S. state.

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