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Chicago-born Natalie Jaresko, the former finance minister of Ukraine who steered the country through an international Monetary Fund programme and debt restructuring, is now setting her sights on patching up the finances of Puerto Rico.
In a Facebook posting, Ms Jaresko, who traces her ethnic roots to Ukraine, revealed she had been made chief executive of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico:
I am honored and humbled to be taking on a new, critically important position to put Puerto Rico back on a path to fiscal stability.
The Board is tasked with assessing and certifying annual budgets and a fiscal recovery plan presented by the island’s government and facilitating debt restructuring talks on the island.
Puerto Rico is suffering from years of fiscal deficits and the related debt burden. Yet, the opportunities are equally great based on the steps foreseen in the certified fiscal plan to restore liquidity and debt sustainability.
Implementation of this plan will be a first step in returning stability and confidence to investors and Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million U.S. citizens.
Ms Jaresko pointed to her record in Ukraine, saying:
Ukraine’s experience during my term as Ukraine’s Minister of Finance from 2014-2016 offers an example of recovery from difficult financial straits.
Combining fiscal austerity, debt restructuring, and structural reforms, we were able to return the economy from the brink of financial disaster to stability and growth.