Local June 15, 2012 | 1:48 pm

World Bank rep’s parting shot: Dominicans rebuke yet accept corruption

SANTO DOMINGO.- Outgoing World Bank representative Roby Senderowitsch on Friday called the country’s corruption “often criticized yet accepted,” but always harms the poorest the most.

He said Dominican Republic is two countries, "one where there’s great social inequality reflected in misappropriated funds and another with great beauty, wealth and lots of good, hardworking people who advance toward development."

There’s no denying that Dominican Republic has a high economic growth, the largest in the region, but "this hasnot become wellbeing for most families, there’s no good quality of life."

Senderowitsch said the middle class’ search for individual solutions keeps it from a significant growth, because it doesn’t react to society’s ills, citing the education system failure, where only 50% of the youngsters reach 12th grade.

The World Bank representative, speaking in his farewell reception, noted that when he speaks of those two countries, "there’re many people who do not like to live in it, complaining, and there’re others who think their country is wonderful and deserves a better future."

Among the country’s most pressing challenges, Senderowitsch cited that 300 women die in childbirth each year, which in his view merits a review of the health system, and the levels of corruption, which penalizes the poor.

He criticized the Government’s tax exemptions to certain sectors, which he affirms most of those funds don’t go where they’re needed.

"In the free zones and tourism companies luxury buildings are exempt of taxes, but the working class housing is taxed."

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