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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Puerto Rico's new governor was sworn in Monday as the U.S. territory prepares for what many believe will be new austerity measures and a renewed push for statehood to haul the island out of a deep economic crisis.
Gov. Ricardo Rossello, 37, proposed several measures aimed at alleviating the crisis shortly after he was sworn in at midnight. Among them is a proposal to hold a referendum that would ask voters whether they prefer statehood or independence. Many have argued that Puerto Rico's political status has contributed to its decade-long crisis that has prompted more than 200,000 people to flee to the U.S. mainland in recent years.
Rossello - Partnerships - Revenue - Retirement - System
Rossello also aims to boost public-private partnerships and use that revenue to save a retirement system that faces a $40 billion deficit and is expected to collapse in less than a year. Rossello also has pledged to work closely with a federal control board that U.S. Congress created last year to oversee Puerto Rico's finances, and he has said he supports negotiations with creditors to help restructure a nearly $70 billion public debt.
Thousands of supporters awaited Rossello's arrival for the post-swearing-in inauguration ceremony at the island's seaside Capitol building, clutching umbrellas to protect themselves from a searing sun.
Moment - Puerto - Rico - Jose - Davila
"This is a historic moment for Puerto Rico," said 50-year-old Jose Davila as he waved a large flag from Rossello's pro-statehood party. "He's the hope...
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