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Puerto Rico governor says December bonuses 'part of salary'

Dec 9 (Reuters) - Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla said on Wednesday he would do all in his power to pay public workers some $120 million in December bonuses despite the island’s fiscal crisis.

Speaking at a press conference in Washington, Garcia Padilla said Puerto Rican law requires bonus payments, and leaves no room for a waiver of that obligation, as long as the island has the funds to make the payments.

Bonuses are “part of the salary for workers ... I have to do everything in my power to pay that money,” Garcia Padilla said. The island owes nearly $1 billion in bond payments on Jan. 1, which it may not be able to pay. (Reporting by Nick Brown; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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