The Unitary Front of Workers (FUT) proposed this Wednesday to the Lenin Moreno government to declare a moratorium on the return of the external debt, instead of the set of economic measures that it has proposed to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus crisis in Ecuador.
Mesías Tatamuez, president of what is the country’s main labor center, expressed in a press conference his rejection of the measures announced by the Executive on Tuesday and called for the debt moratorium.
All this when considering that, thus, income could be obtained to be allocated to sectors such as “education, health, employment and other needs of the Ecuadorian people.”
Likewise, José Villavicencio, president of the General Union of Workers of Ecuador (UGTE), affirmed on the other hand that it is “time to collect more than 4,000 million dollars from large debtor companies.”
“Until now, they have not been charged a penny (of what) they promised us three years ago. We want the evaders to be charged,” the union leader said.
And he alluded to “review the oil and telephone company contracts” of which he said: “They take 3,000 million dollars from Ecuadorians” and if “they only left us 50 percent, the State would have revenues of 1,500 million dollars “
The Ecuadorian president announced on Tuesday a package of savings and tax measures to get more than $ 2.5 billion that will be missing from the budget due to the fall in the price of oil and the coronavirus.
Among them, the contribution to the public coffers of a percentage of the salary of public servants, elimination of public institutions and greater cuts in State spending stand out.
In 2019, Ecuador agreed with several multilateral organizations to finance $ 10.2 billion, which will not be enough to cover the budget holes.
Added to the difficulties is the maturity after 2022 of a series of debt issues that will put the national economy in trouble.
Villavicencio also proposed, as alternatives to the new measures, the collection of more taxes from 270 major economic groups in the country, which would give the state an additional “1,200 million in revenues”.
The workers have not ruled out taking actions – which they did not specify – in the event that the Executive again decides to eliminate fuel subsidies, which last October triggered a massive protest in the country until Moreno repealed the decree.
For its part, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), which led these protests, has warned that “it will not be an accessory to another package” and is on alert for the implementation of new economic measures.