President Alvaro Uribe said that unemployment in Colombia’s major cities had stopped its upward trend, and that the economy was recovering from the international financial crisis faster than expected.
The president noted that while South America’s economy contracted 1.7% last year, Colombia’s economy grew 0.4%.
“The Colombian economy has been recovering faster than expected … unemployment has stopped rising” in the “thirteen main metropolitan centers,” Uribe said.
According to national statistics agency DANE, Colombian unemployment rose to 12.2% in April this year, as 123,000 more people were without jobs compared with the same month in 2009.
Uribe also said that the government is making an effort to get the Colombian congress to pass a bill which aims to secure new funding for national health care.
The president claimed that the health care scheme will be paid for by royalties from the increased production of natural resources such as gold, oil and coal.
“I believe we can now also get enough money to solve the pension and education problems,” Uribe added.