February 24, 2021

Vázquez calls for “State policies” to attack the COVID-19 crisis in Uruguay



Twice President of Uruguay Tabaré Vázquez (2005-2010 and 2015-2020) announced this Thursday a document that he will present to the Government with proposals to address the crisis by COVID-19 and stressed the need to develop “state policies”.

This was expressed in an interview with the television program Besides News (DNA), where he expressed his agreement with the sanitary measures applied so far by the Government of Luis Lacalle Pou.

“We feel strongly committed to the whole of society, and also to make this work available to the government in order to achieve a great national dialogue and the possibility of having state policies on many issues,” said Vázquez.

This document, which will first be presented to the Frente Amplio (FA), was prepared together with different experts in different areas such as health, the economy and education.

The also an oncologist by profession said that the Uruguayan health system is prepared to deal with the disease and emphasized that more tests could be performed but with “epidemiological follow-up.”

In the economic field, he proposed “a temporary subsidy” of the value equivalent to the minimum wage to those informal workers for the duration of the health emergency.

“You could have thought of lowering the fuel and other rates not raising them because the population is not in a position to attend a rise at this time,” he stressed.

In addition, he explained that in order to face the next few months, the pandemic, the fiscal situation – which today has a deficit of approximately 6% – and the financial situation must be taken into account.

For Vázquez, Uruguay has a good fiscal situation and for this reason it must continue betting on “lending a hand” to the loans it has approved by international financial institutions.

“The pandemic requires carrying out countercyclical policies that address the current circumstance and do not end up profoundly affecting fiscal policy,” he said.

The former president appreciated the statements of Lacalle Pou, who said in a conference days ago that he is not willing to surrender and give up the school year for primary and secondary education.

“It will also be necessary on this issue to develop state policies, to sit down the entire political system, union organizations,” he said.

Although he thinks that the proposals will not require a tax increase, he thought that, if necessary, it should be agreed through a “national dialogue”

“After having been President of the Republic twice and Mayor of Montevideo once, I have come to the conclusion that the best laws can be drafted with the best technicians, the best intention being that after they are approved they do not achieve political and social consensus they end up being papers in a desk drawer, “he said.

In 2019 Vázquez was diagnosed with lung cancer. Regarding this, he said that he carried out the treatment he considered most appropriate and that, although in these eight months he had ups and downs, the results are positive and the disease “apparently is stopped.”

The official figures for the coronavirus in Uruguay reflect 684 positive cases and 17 deaths.

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