ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — Paraguay's government is strapped for cash to pay employees and is firing thousands from their jobs.

The government of newly elected President Horacio Cartes says it lacks the money to pay salaries for all 258,000 public employees.

The head of the secretariat in charge of hiring state employees says the government expected a 2013 budget of $15 billion but it came below that figure.

Minister Humberto Peralta says the government has already laid off 4,000 people and will slash another 15,000 jobs by December.

He says about 80 percent of the yearly budget goes toward paying salaries.


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