Hundreds of Ecuadorians take to streets to reject Pro-IMF reforms

Photo: AP

The government has so far maintained that there would be no change or reverse in the measured announced.

Ecuador woke up this Thursday with a total stoppage of activities as a result of a nationwide strike announced by transport workers and taxi drivers to protest against the “Paquetazo”, a package of austerity policies which President Lenin Moreno announced Tuesday in order to comply with suggestions presented by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“Finally the government took off its mask and raised the neoliberal project ordered by the IMF, which places the full weight of the crisis on the people,” the Workers’ Unitary Front president Mesias Tatamuez said.

Workers, Campesinos, professors, and students also expressed their rejection of the reforms which would require employees of public companies to give a payday to the Finance Ministry.

Simultaneously, however, the IMF recommendations included reducing the income tax to banana producers, who are among the richest economic agents in Ecuador.

Regarding recent events in Ecuador, former President Rafael Correa commented on social media that the latest austerity measures are a demonstration of “pure ineptitude,” for there was no external pressure to justify them.

He also indicated that the Ecuadorean public external debt increased by US$15 billion over the last two years, which has not really yielded any benefit on the average Ecuadorean, according to him.

“Debt was used to finance public infrastructure investments. Now, it goes to consumption,” Correa said, recalling that the Ecuadorean debt average interest increased from 4.31 percent to 5.9 percent.

Before Lenin Moreno took office, “the country had to pay loans for US$32 billion in a 10-year term; now it will have to pay US$56 billion in the next 10 years,” he warned.

The government has so far maintained that there would be no change or reverse in the measured announced earlier this week.

Sources: teleSUR, EFE, Ecuador en Vivo.

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