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The Economist: Medina, doing well, but could do better

The Economist magazine has published a profile of Dominican President Danilo Medina saying that for a politician who is two years into his term of office, Medina “is enviably popular”. The publication highlights that Medina’s approval ratings are sky-high; they reached around 90% in one poll, a level usually associated with dictators rather than democrats. Research firm Latinobarometro ranks him as the most popular leader in Latin America, as reported.

The Economist attributes much of his popularity to his image as a down-to-earth leader who travels around the country on impromptu visits, pledging financial support that is actually delivered. A campaign pledge to boost education spending to 4% of GDP is being implemented. The Economist writes that he also wins plaudits for championing a literacy drive. A weak and fractious opposition helps.

The British publication says that Medina got high marks internationally for creating a path to citizenship for some people of Haitian descent, following a court ruling that threatened to leave them stateless.

The Economist reports that even economists seem to like him. According to Franco Uccelli of J.P. Morgan, “His greatest achievement [is] massive fiscal consolidation without sacrificing growth,” The central government deficit narrowed from 6.8% in GDP in 2012 to 2.6% in 2013 and is expected to end around that level in 2014. Real GDP growth rose from 3.9% in 2012 to 4.1% in 2013 and is likely to close 2014 at around 5%, thanks largely to tourism, remittances and mining exports.”

But The Economist also comments that Medina’s record on many issues “is far from perfect”. It says that the Dominican Republic has the same energy problems as other parts of the Caribbean. It continues to suffer from frequent power outages, which experts blame on inadequate investment and rampant electricity theft.

Crime also remains a serious problem, as seen by the publication. It reports that “despite the president’s pledge to create ‘a new police’ when he took office in August 2012, the force remains plagued by corruption and inefficiency. “Several plans have been implemented but none attack the roots of the problem and the perception of widespread insecurity continues, as do repeated problems in the judiciary,” says Adriano Tejada, editor of Diario Libre, as quoted by The Economist.

Source: DR1.

Category: DR News |

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Last updated March 25, 2017 at 5:40 PM
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