Puerto Rico gov't denies rumours of bankruptcy, US takeover amid concerns about economic crisis

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The government of Puerto Rico denies it is near bankruptcy or might need U.S. federal intervention, offering those assurances during a conference call with investors aimed at alleviating concerns about a recent drop in bond sales and the island’s continuing financial crisis.

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said Tuesday that the U.S. territory will not default on its bonds as it heads into its eighth year of recession.

Officials pledged to cut an $820 million budget deficit in half by 2015, create more than 90,000 jobs by 2016 and strengthen manufacturing and tourism.

Treasury Secretary Melba Acosta said rumours about the U.S. intervening to help ease Puerto Rico’s financial crunch are wrong. She said federal officials are considering setting up a committee to find ways to help boost the island’s economy.