Friday, July 16, 2004

Post Strike Analysis: Dow Jones provides a post-strike analysis and says that Prime Minister Carlos Ferrero declared "that opposition leader Alan Garcia had lost ground by supporting Wednesday's general strike." Said Ferrero on RPP radio, "The Apra made a bet on the strike, and it didn't turn out. This is a warning of an upcoming electoral defeat. People are saying that when Mr. Garcia calls, we won't answer." In his own radio interview, Garcia said that the strike was an expression of demands for change made "by an important part of the country." ALSO: El Comercio's political editor Juan Paredes Castro views.

COPA Analysis: Reuters, reporting from Piura, gives an overview of the Copa so far and declares that it offers "top class football without the frills." The frills include "no giant screens, no mini-theme parks outside with giant, inflatable trampolines and no stalls offering official merchandise. It does not even have numbered plastic seats, most of the crowd instead sitting on concrete steps ...  Yet the football played at the Miguel Grau in the Copa America was arguably as good as anything served up in the more glamorous surroundings of Portugal at the European championship the month before." ALSO: "Not a single goalless draw in the 18 first stage matches."

USA Aid to Peru Debated: Reuters reports on a bill in the USA Congress that would "stop financial aid to countries that have not agreed to guarantee American soldiers immunity from the International Criminal Court. Opponents of the measure warned the move would cut off aid countries of strategic importance to the United States" including Peru.

WBank Aid to Peru Affirmed: The World Bank announced in a press release that they approved "two loans for a total of $16.6 million for Peru to support the decentralization of key social programs and fiscal administration."  Marcelo Giugale (World Bank Country Director for Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela) said that "the decentralization of fiscal management and public services will help authorities at all levels channel resources to where they are needed most, especially the rural poor." NOTE: "The two single currency, fixed-spread loans are repayable in 14 years, including 8 years of grace. Disbursements will run from 2004 through 2008."

Economic Growth: Reuters gets an interview with Farid Matuk Castro, head of the National Statistics Institute (INEI) who says that "investment in Peru's fast-growing economy chalked up two years of sustained growth in May, the third longest run in 35 years, reflected by rising output in manufacturing." NOTE: "Investment has grown for eight straight quarters, beaten only by a 14-quarter run in the 1970s and an 11-quarter stretch under the government of former President Alberto Fujimori, who led the country out of hyperinflation in the early 1990s." ALSO: "The capital-intensive mining industry, which generates more than half the country's exports, has been the driving force behind Peru's three-year growth spurt and exports have reached record highs due to strong international metals prices." CITED: Gustavo Rangel (Barclays Capital)

Economic Numbers: Dow Jones reports on Peru's overall cement sales (they rose in June 4.0%, according to the National Association of Cement Producers), and the unemployment rate in Lima (it fell to 8.6% in June from 9.1% in May, according to INEI.)

3G Phones: Nortel Network announced in a press release that "the Peruvian operator of the Telefonica Moviles Group has begun offering a comprehensive line-up of third generation (3G) mobile services nationwide using an advanced wireless data network solution from Nortel Networks." NOTE: "Telefonica Moviles first launched these new services in November 2003 in the capital city of Lima and has now finalized the first phase of expansions of its 3G network in the provinces." CITED: David Holgado Sánchez, director of Technology and Services, Telefonica Moviles Peru.

War of the Pacific, cont.: The Los Angeles Times offers an editorial on this weekend's referendum in Bolivia which "will decide who owns, sells and benefits from the country's natural gas reserves." NOTE: The editorial calls for Chile to "reach out to [Bolivian President] Mesa to achieve a deal that facilitates Bolivia's access to the Pacific Ocean, helping to heal a historical wound that poisons their relationship and, among other things, clutters the construction of a pipeline."  ALSO: The Christian Science Monitor has a front page article today titled, "Gas wealth fuels populist experiment in Bolivia."
Coke Not Going to Aussies: Australia's News Nine reports that "two Australians have been detained in Peru after the seizure of 44 kilograms of cocaine bound for Australia [and] are awaiting formal charges after Peruvian authorities detained them in a joint operation with Australian law enforcement agencies." NOTE: "Peruvian authorities raided a warehouse on Saturday in Los Olivos, Peru, where they discovered the cocaine concealed in a large consignment of coffee bags destined for Australia."

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