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France French Guiana. Monopolies have traditionally been permitted in the fields of banking and insurance, postal services, ports, water, light and power, telephone services, and fuels.
Industrial and commercial activities of the state must be organized as "autonomous entities. Exceptions to this policy are state-operated postal and telephone services, customs houses, port administration, and public health. The Committee on Investment and Economic Development, established in , published a year plan for — 75 for production, investment, and consumption.
The plan, stressing industrial development and external financing, was superseded in April by the National Development Plan for — 77, prepared by the Planning and Budget Office. This plan projected an annual growth rate of 3.breakinirzuci.ga
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Domestic investment was to rise at an annual rate of After the severe slump of the early s, the decisive actions by the new government injected life into the economy. In particular, restructuring the heavy domestic debt burden of the industrial and agricultural sectors increased confidence in the economy. Domestic investment rose sharply, with some industries at full capacity. The Lacalle administration continued the fiscal adjustment program in to reduce the budget deficit. A state-enterprises reforms law passed in September permitted partial privatization of certain state-owned enterprises.
Uruguay also became an important trade partner and provider of services to Mercosur countries. The flip side of this relationship was Uruguay's dependency on and vulnerability to economic developments in its neighboring countries. A slowdown in Brazilian growth and a recession in Argentina caused Uruguay's economy to slip into recession in and in The government instituted a three-stage stabilization program in The plan increased consumption and payroll taxes, instituted a program designed to downsize government, and planned for long-term social security reform.
This plan continued into the late s with moderate success, but a recession hit in that exacerbated the problems of a state-monopolized economy dependent upon exports to Argentina and Brazil, and dependent on US dollars for the currency. The financial crisis in Argentina in late and subsequent recession hurt exports and tourism in Uruguay, and Uruguay's banking crisis in was exacerbated by the situation in Argentina. An outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease among its cattle and an energy crisis in Brazil also adversely affected the economy.
Uruguay is diversifying its export base, has a well-run offshore financial center, and has significantly improved the structure of the economy. Many formerly state-owned sectors had been liberalized by , including insurance, mortgages, road construction and repair, piped-gas distribution, energy generation, water sanitation and distribution, cellular telephones, and airline transportation. Oil refining was de-monopolized, but oil imports were to remain a monopoly until Uruguay is characterized by an export-oriented agricultural sector, a well-educated workforce, and high levels of social spending.
By , it had slowed to 6.
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Uruguay has frequently been referred to as South America's first welfare state. Some legislation dates back to Social legislation now provides for a day of rest in every week plus Saturday afternoon , holidays with pay, minimum wages, annual cash and vacation bonuses, family allowances, compensation for unemployment or dismissal, workers' accident compensation, retirement pensions for rural and domestic workers, old age and disability pensions, and special consideration for working women and minors.
The state also provides care for children and mothers, as well as for the blind, deaf, and mute. Free medical attention is available to the poor, as are low-cost living quarters for workers.
A dual social insurance program and private insurance system is in place. There is a separate system for bank employees, notaries, university graduates, members of the armed forces, and the police. All other employees and the self-employed are within the program. Retirement is set at Work injury and unemployment insurance are available to all employees.