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Costa Rican gov’t to set sights lower

As the Costa Rican economy slows under the weight of a global downturn, President Oscar Arias’ administration has acknowledged that it cannot achieve some of its original social and economic goals.


Arias will meet all day Saturday with his cabinet and heads of other state institutions to define new goals for his remaining 21 months in office.


In a 2006 National Development Plan, President Arias set ambitious four-year targets in education, infrastructure, healthcare, production and trade. Presidency Minister Rodrigo Arias said the administration must now “redefine” those goals based on “what we can realistically do.”


During Arias’ first year in office, poverty and unemployment dropped, inflation fell and exports grew at a clip.


“That certainly won’t continue because of external factors beyond this country’s control” such as high fuel and food prices, Rodrigo Arias said. “If our environment changes, our goals have to change, too.”


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