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Daily News - 08 December 1999

Long term development pact
President Leonel Fernández yesterday proposed that the nation's political parties sign a pact that would guarantee the long term social and economic development of the DR, regardless of the political party in power. President Fernández made the proposal at the Seminar, "Proyecto de Diseño de una Estrategia Competitiva Nacional" held at the Hotel Lina all day yesterday. The President was not scheduled to speak, but after meeting with Michael Fairbanks and Felipe Larrain of the Monitor Company yesterday at the National Palace, he chose to make an appearance at the seminar that primarily gathered local businessmen.
President Fernández spoke of how some of the more outstanding cases of development have occurred in countries that are not democracies -- Singapore, Chile, Hong Kong and South Korea. He said that a political pact is necessary as the DR is trying to promote its development within a democracy. He explained that it is necessary to develop a consensus on the long term strategic objectives that will be carried out regardless who is in power.
The US government Agency for International Development sponsored the seminar. The Monitor Company (
http://www.monitor.com) was responsible for the presentation.

Government owes RD$1,064 million to banks not RD$7,000 million
The Superintendent of Banks, Vicente Bengoa disputed the claim by Donald Reid Cabral, acting president of the PRSC, that the debt of the government with private banks is RD$7,000 million. He said that as of September the debt was RD$1,064 million. He asked politicians to leave out the banking sector from their political debates because it affects the trust of the people in the sector, which in turn results in restrictions on credit on behalf of foreign banks.

More "pichirrí" talk
The presidential candidate of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano, Hipólito Mejía says that the little awareness on behalf of President Leonel Fernández of the term "pichirrí," that describes the tail of the chicken, is a demonstration that the President has lost contact with the poor in the Dominican Republic. President Fernández said in an interview with CBS recently that it would be sad that the country, that is initiating a phase of high technology, fell in the hands of people that speak of "grabbing the chicken by the tail (pichirrí)." Mejía used the term when he referred to his opponent, Danilo Medina, of the PLD, saying that he had him "agarrado por el pichirrí."
Mejía responded to the President's comment, saying that President Fernández is living in the 18th century, pointing out that the Fernández administration has subject the population to a state of extreme poverty.
Mejía said he would not vary his language. He says he uses terms that the Dominican people can understand. He commented that Professor Juan Bosch, the founder of the PLD, used popular terms with good results.

Survey shows 30% of PRSC voters favor PLD
The Listín Diario publishes today results of its 27-30 November Sigma Dos survey that showed that 30.7% of Partido Reformista Social Cristiano followers would vote for the Partido de la Liberación candidate if the PRSC did not make it to the second round (which is very likely). Of the PRSC voters, 16.7% said they would support the candidacy of the PRD presidential candidate, Hipólito Mejía. Of the remaining voters, 22.9% said they would vote for the candidate that party leader, Joaquín Balaguer chose. The presidential election is scheduled for 16 May 2000. Political analysts believe that whomever 93-year old former President Joaquín Balaguer endorses in the next election, is likely to be the winner.

Hoy newspaper survey shows 53% not satisfied with present government
53% of every 100 Dominicans believe that the Fernández administration has been a bad one, versus 45% that believe it has been a good one, according to the most recent Hamilton Beattie & Staff-Hoy survey, carried out 22-28 November. Fernández has most of his support in the younger segment of the population (17-29 years), where 53% said he had done a good government. Dominicans responded to the question: How would you describe the government of Leonel Fernandez: excellent, good, bad or very bad. 8% described it as excellent, 37% as good, 35% as bad, and 18% as very bad.
The same survey showed that 18% feel that their economic situation has improved in the past two or three years. This is four percentual points more than three months ago. 39% believe their situation will be better in a year. 20% think they will be the same financially, 34% feel they will be worse off, and 7% do not have an opinion. 47% feel their economic situation is worse, 34% have not seen a change in the past two or three years.

Travel to Italy for US$500
Lauda Air is promoting travel to Italy for US$500 (plus taxes). The airline says restrictions apply. For more information, contact General Air Services, Tel. 540-5343 or 1-200-2716.

Update on the Pan Am Games villa
The Technical Commission of the Ministry of Public Works is completing final details for the tender to choose the company that will build the eight towers (700 apartments) to lodge athletes and coaches coming for the Santo Domingo Pan Am Games. Architect Carmen Leyda Mora de Rosario, Deputy Minister of Public Works said that the committee meets daily to review the qualifications of the 16 companies that have shown an interest in participating in the tender. The towers are slated to go up on a lot the Dominican government purchased that is diagonally across from the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center, where most of the sports events will take place in July 2003. Construction is programmed to start after the May 2000 presidential election.

Music extravaganza tonight at Plaza de España
The Ministry of Tourism is sponsoring a music extravaganza to commemorate the launching of its collection of the best of Dominican music in this century. The Ministry of Tourism's "A Century of Dominican Music," is a collection of four CDs. The 4:10 hour production features 71 tracks by 57 composers, in the voices of 51 singers. The CD offers a variety of Dominican music, including merengue, mangulina, carabiné, pambiche, guarapo, sarambo, salve, bolero, balada, bachata, criolla, and canción lirica.
The music extravaganza will take place at the Plaza de España in the Colonial City as of 8 pm. Luchy Vicioso, Frank Ceara, Fernando Casado, Milagros Hernández, Patricia Pereyra, Ileana Reynoso and Rhina Ramírez will participate accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra. The collection of four CDs will sell for RD$1,000 (about US$63) in leading music stores. But admission to the Plaza de España event is free.

Tickets on sale for Juan Luís Guerra concert
Tickets for the Juan Luis Guerra concert, a benefit for the children of the Hogar del Niño Padre Abreu in La Romana are going for RD$550 per person. They are on sale at the branches of Baninter bank. The concert by the legendary merengue musician and composer will take place on Saturday, 18 December at the 5,000-person Altos de Chavon amphitheater starting at 8:30 pm.

Christmas in the Colonial City
"Navidad 99" is the celebration of Christmas organized by the Ayuntamiento de Santo Domingo (city municipality), Secretaría de Turismo (ministry of tourism), Comisión de Monumentos (historic monuments commission), Oficina de Patrimonio Cultural (office of cultural heritage), and the Patronato de la Ciudad Colonial (board of the colonial city).
Activities start today, Wednesday, 1 December and continue all month long. Most of the events take place at the Parque Colón (Isabel la Católica corner Conde), the Patronato de la Ciudad Colonial (Isabel la Católica 103) or the Palacio Consistorial (Arz. Meriño corner Conde), Cathedral of Santo Domingo (Arz. Meriño corner Arz. Nouel), Capilla de los Remedios (Calle Las Damas corner Mercedes).
Today's schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, 8 December
5:30 pm. Christmas Sunsets. Concert by the Music Band of the Army.
8 pm. Carlos Alfredo Fatule in Concert sponsored by the Municipality of Santo Domingo. Parque Colón.
8 pm. "Gloria a Dios", presentation of the choir of the Estudio Diná music school. Convent of Santo Domingo. Padre Billini corner Hostos street.
9 pm. Concert of the Marianela Sánchez children's choir. Palacio Consistorial.
9 pm. Christmas caroling by the neighbors of Regina. Leaving from the Parque Colón.

100 years of boleros
A selection of romantic songs from this century will be presented at the Teatro La Fiesta of the Hotel Jaragua, this Sunday, 12 December. Olga Guillot, Los Panchos, Roberto Yanés, Fausto Rey, Johnny Albino, Raúl Marrero, José Manuel Calderón, Vitín Avilés are traveling to the DR to join Dominican crooners. The Dominican performers will be Lope Balaguer, Anthony Ríos, Francis Santana, Niní Cáffaro and Luchy Vicioso. Maestro Jorge Taveras and Jesús Torres Tejeda will be conducting the musicians. Tickets to see the living legends of Latin American romantic music are for sale at the Teatro La Fiesta, 221-1435 and 412-4610.

Show people vs. baseball greats in benefit
Manny Mota, the former star Los Angeles Dodgers player, has brought together popular music figures and baseball stars for a benefit softball game. The First Manny Mota Celebrities Classic will take place today, Wednesday, 8 December at the Quisqueya Ball Park. Major League greats, Jose Canseco, Pedro Martinez, Andruw Jones, Todd Hundley and others will participate. Also participating are merengue band leaders Fernando Villalona, Kinito Mendez, and Jose Alberto (El Canario). The mascots of the Florida Marlins (Billy the Marlin), the Colorado Rockies (Colorado Dinger), and Seattle Mariners (Mariners Moose) have come for the event.
Manny Mota says that it is probable that leading Dominican politicians may also participate, including President Leonel Fernández and the presidential candidates. Hipólito Mejía, presidential candidate for the PRD, has already announced he will participate.
Tickets are for sale at the Plaza Lama stores and at the Quisqueya Ball park.

Winter baseball weekend games and standing
Wednesday, 7 December 1999
Santiago: Escogido vs. Aguilas
San Pedro de Macorís: Pollos vs. Estrellas

Team standing as of Tuesday, 7 December 1999:
Leones del Escogido 21-10 (.677)
Aguilas Cibaeñas 20-11 (.645) ­1 game
Estrellas Orientales 15-17 (.469) ­6.5 games
Tigres del Licey 12-20 (.375), -9.5 games
Pollos del Cibao 10-20 (.333) ­10.5 games

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