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Pres. Office to Form ‘Economic War Room’

Posted January. 06, 2009 06:43,   


An economic “war room” will be set up inside the underground bunker of the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae to ensure prompt and swift responses to the economic crisis, presidential spokesman Lee Dong-kwan said yesterday.

President Lee Myung-bak in a New Year’s address Friday said he will shift his administration into emergency mode to fight the economic crisis.

In a meeting with his key presidential aides yesterday, he confirmed the plan to establish an emergency economic council comprising four support teams on macroeconomic policy, the real economy, small and mid-size enterprises, finance and public sector restructuring, the social safety net and job creation, the spokesman said.

A vice minister-level official will head the body.

The presidential office also announced 38 tasks to carry out the policies announced by the president in his New Year’s address.

To facilitate loans to businesses and households, a fund worth 20 trillion won (15.1 billion U.S. dollars) will be set up next month with help from Korea Credit Guarantee Fund and Korea Technology Credit Guarantee Fund.

The government will also announce this month specific measures to temporarily exempt finance employees from responsibility through the end of this year.

Based on its plan to spend 60 percent of the national budget in the first half of the year to stimulate the economy, a new committee headed by the vice finance minister will monitor budget expenditures by state agencies and state-funded companies.

“Since we’re faced with an unprecedented and urgent economic situation, the government has decided to respond with speedy and swift measures,” spokesman Lee said.