Ecuador. Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Ecuador. The year in Ecuador was marked by concerns about the money market and the accompanying social concerns. Strong speculation on the currency of sucre in February meant that it was allowed to float freely, which in effect meant the country’s second fifteen percent devaluation in four months. The protests that followed led to the resignation of Finance Minister Fidel Jaramillo. In March, a tightening package came with increased gasoline prices, privatizations, cuts in the public sector and tax reforms aimed primarily at improving tax collection. However, the minority government’s support party PSC said no to the package, and a general strike was announced on March 10-11. The increase in gasoline prices in July led to a 12-day strike that paralyzed the country and forced President Jamil Mahuad to impose an emergency permit. The president was pushed from two directions; partly from the IMF, who had pledged a $ 400 million loan for further privatization measures, partly from Congress, which opposed them. The plan for activating the economy, restoring the infrastructure and eradicating poverty launched in April (Ecuador 2000) did not impress critics. All in all, Ecuador is facing major debt problems. Foreign debt amounted to $ 16 billion in 1999, which corresponds to 110% of GDP, and without debt restructuring, repayments eat up 42% of the budget. In September, therefore, payments were suspended on Ecuador’s so-called Brady bonds, which correspond to 6% of the external debt. At the same time, oil exports are doing well; Between January and July, oil was exported at a value 15% higher than the corresponding period in 1998.
On May 13, after ratifying the Brazil Agreement of October 1998, the last border stone was put in place at the border with Peru in a ceremony attended by the two Heads of State, which set a final point for the border conflict between the countries that broke out in 1995. At the same time, the civil war in neighboring Colombia throws its shadow even over Ecuador. On February 17, Congressman Jaime Hurtado, former presidential candidate for the left-wing MPD (Movimiento Popular Democrático), was assassinated, and widely argued that Colombian paramilitary was behind the murder. The intention was apparently to discourage the Ecuadorian left from supporting the Colombian left guerrilla.
New coronary restrictions
New restrictions are announced to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. Crowds of more than ten people are banned until at least after New Year and the beaches are closed during Christmas and New Year. A curfew at night, from 10 pm to 4 am, is extended until after New Year’s. Car traffic is limited so that a car can only be driven every other day, depending on the registration number. Shopping malls are allowed to operate at half of their normal capacity and restaurants and hotels at 30 percent. All bars must close again, at least until 5 January. The number of confirmed deaths in covid-19 amounts to close to 14,000.
New IMF loan
The IMF approves a $ 6.5 billion loan in just over two years, to help Ecuador deal with the shock to the economy caused by the corona pandemic. An initial installation of $ 2 billion will be made available immediately for budget support. The loan promise complements the $ 643 million emergency loan granted by the IMF in May. The loan money is intended to secure sustainable finances, manage debt, go to expanded social programs and strengthen domestic institutions. The new loan replaces a previous loan whose terms Ecuador has not been able to live up to during the current year (see March 2019).
Judgment against ex-president Correa confirmed
A court has upheld the sentence of eight years in prison for former President Rafael Correa (see April 2020), thus closing the door for him to run for vice-presidential candidate in the 2021. “They do not understand that the only thing they are doing is increasing popular support. “, Writes the exiled Correa in a comment.