Local February 27, 2014 | 5:51 pm

Dominican Republic’s mettle, courage still being tested: President

Santo Domingo.- President Danilo Medina affirmed Thursday that Dominican Republic’s mettle and courage as a nation are still being tested, but cited a long list of accomplishments he said heralds a better future “and the dream all Dominicans are building together.

In his State of the National speech to mark the country’s 170th anniversary of Independence, Medina also announced major infrastructure works such as the hydroelectric dam at Monte Grande, the North-South Highway and two coal-fired power planst in Bani, among others.

Medina called the allocation of 4% of GDP for education and the push to eradicate illiteracy as early as this year, among his Administration’s proudest accomplishments. “We proclaim today that we Dominicans can say that this year we willl have put an end to illiteracy once and for all."

But the chief executive, speaking before both houses of Congress, sidestepped issues of great concern to society, such as Xstrata Nickel’s planned mine at Loma Miranda, the reform of the labor code and the still rampant government corruption.

Opposition leaders

Former president and opposition PRD party leader Hipolito Mejia said Medina’s speech left him “unsatisfied” for failing to address corruption and for painting “a country of marvels much different to the one described by the World Bank.”

Al-Pais minority party president Guillermo Moreno also criticized medina’s failure to mention actions against government corruption, in addition to "the review of the energy contracts, irresponsible borrowing abroad, the mafia of agro imports, and the impunity that bleeds the Dominican State."

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