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Pres. Lee Pledges ‘Emergency Economic Gov’t’ This Year

Pres. Lee Pledges ‘Emergency Economic Gov’t’ This Year

Posted January. 03, 2009 06:17,   


President Lee Myung-bak said yesterday that his administration will be an “emergency economic government” this year and carry out necessary measures along the way.”

In a New Year address broadcast live nationwide in the morning, he said, “We need to operate at full throttle to achieve the earliest possible recovery from the economic crisis.”

Accordingly, the presidential office announced follow-up measures, such a new economic policy meeting chaired by the president and including the finance minister, chief economic advisers and several members from the National Economic Advisory Council.

In his address, Lee proposed four basic policy guidelines for this year: launch of an emergency government system to tackle economic difficulty; assist the people’s livelihood with compassion; continue reform to make Korea an advanced country; and step up efforts for green growth and the future.

On when disputed bills will be passed, he said, “The National Assembly`s support will accelerate the government’s efforts to boost the economy.”

“By providing more capital to the Korea Credit Guarantee Fund and the KIBO Technology Fund, the government will expand support for small and medium-size enterprises up to more than 11 trillion won (8.3 billion U.S. dollars),” he said.

“We will immediately implement a program where no one will be held responsible for problems that occur while supporting smaller companies.”

The president emphasized the importance of disclosing information on schools and setting up the teacher evaluation system, saying, “Not only students and parents but also schools and teachers must be exposed to competition for better education.”

To realize his vision of green growth, he proposed a green growth council directly under the president while pursuing a basic law on green growth. He also pledged to create 280,000 jobs by revitalizing the country’s four major rivers.

On relations with North Korea, Lee urged Pyongyang to have a more cooperative attitude. “I’m ready to work with the North as its partner at any time. It is my earnest wish for the North to unshackle itself from its old and outmoded tactic of instigating conflict within the South,” he said.

yongari@donga.com mhpark@donga.com