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Posted : 2009-01-15 16:16
Updated : 2009-01-15 16:16

50% Say Green New Deal Will Boost Economy

By Kang Hyun-kyung
Staff Reporter

More people believe the refurbishment project for the country's four major rivers, the Han, Nakdong, Geum and Yongsan, will play a role in stimulating the economy, according to a poll Thursday.

The project, aimed at cleaning up and creating iconic cultural hot spots in the neighboring regions, is part of the so-called ``Green New Deal'' package project unveiled by the government.

A Research & Research survey of 800 people conducted Wednesday found about 50 percent of respondents answered the 14-trillion-won plan would help move the economy forward.

Those who were skeptical of the effects of the riverside development plan accounted for 40.6 percent of respondents.

Pollsters say the rate of respondents positively assessing the effects of the nationwide "green" growth project on the economy has gone up by 12.8 percentage points from a survey conducted last month.

The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs unveiled the project last month, saying it would create 190,000 jobs.

Ministry officials said the four-year plan was designed to improve water quality, resolve chronic water shortages in nearby areas, and create green and cultural spaces.

Prime Minister Han Seung-soo attended the ceremony marking the commencement of the project late last month near the Yongsan River.

Chairman Park Hee-tae of the governing Grand National Party (GNP) said on several occasions that ``we want to hear hammering sounds at construction sites nationwide to move the economy forward.''

Meanwhile, the largest opposition Democratic Party (DP) opposes the plan, arguing that 95 percent of jobs to be created under the massive project are blue-collar.

The survey found 55.7 percent of people opposed the media-related bills sought by the GNP, while 28.8 percent supported them.

The measures, initiated by the GNP, would allow print media and conglomerates to own up to a 20-percent stake in broadcasters.

Sixty percent of respondents said they support the GNP-led bill dealing with cyber defamation that will allow the punishment of those who defame people online. Only 32.1 percent said they opposed it.

Those who are involved in cyber defamation would be subject to jail terms of up to three years.

The poll also found the support rate for the GNP was at 37.1 percent, and the DP, 16.8 percent, followed by the Democratic Labor Party with 5.5 percent and the Pro-Park Geun-hye Coalition with 3.4 percent.

hkang@koreatimes.co.kr

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