“The government wants to meet with business groups and labor unions in the presidential palace this Tuesday for a deal on prices, to see if we can help mitigate inflation,” Uribe said at a public meeting in the northern town of San Marcos. “The country is clearly ready for a big price deal,” Uribe said, after mentioning that Colombians buy most of their food and other basic products in supermarkets. Inflation rose a faster-than-expected 0.93 percent in May, putting Colombia’s 2008 consumer price rise target ceiling of 4.5 percent all but out of reach.The president nonetheless has urged the central bank to cut interest rates to keep the economy growing. The bank rejected Uribe’s advice on Friday when it decided to keep its key rate unchanged at 9.75 percent. The president is popular for spurring investment by making Colombia’s cities and highways safer. He is leaving open the possibility of seeking a third term in office in 2010. (Reuters)
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