The protests against an eventual agreement of the Government of Costa Rica with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for 1,750 million dollars meet this Tuesday for seven days, while there is no dialogue in sight between the authorities and the group that organizes the demonstrations.
This Tuesday they remain locks in fifty points of strategic highways throughout the country, which has been the strategy of the group called “National Rescue Movement”, led by the former presidential candidate and former deputy, José Miguel Corrales, and the former deputy Célimo Guido.
Demands for the president
This group sent a letter to the Government on Monday in which it establishes requirements to sit down to dialogue, such as, for example, that the president completely rule out and in writing go to the International Monetary Fund for the remainder of his mandate, which does not include sale of state assets or more taxes.
In addition, this group demands a bilateral table, with the presence of a guarantor from the Catholic Church, that the meeting place is not the Presidential House, that the negotiation have the presence of the press and that there are no criminal consequences or other sanctions against protesters.
The Government has not yet responded directly to that movement, but this Tuesday the president, Carlos Alvarado, announced the first roundtables and assured that it will only talk with sectors that “support institutional channels.”
“It is time that the different voices that believe in democracy and they love this country, speak up, “said the president.
Disputes with social leaders
Alvarado broadcast a national network on Sunday in which discarded the initial proposal that he planned to present to the IMF, which included a tax increase and the sale of two state assets.
This Tuesday the president began with those dialogues, but suffered a setback, as the representatives of the Solidarity Movement They did not attend the meeting, as they consider that this process should be multisectoral and not bilateral.
Yes, the other two appointments are confirmed for this Tuesday with cooperative representatives and with the presidents of the supreme powers of the State. Various unions held a march in San José on Tuesday to express their rejection of negotiations with the IMF.
The general secretary of ANEP, Albino Vargas, said that “Alvarado does not believe in dialogue, he is a liar, he believes in dialogue. authoritarianism and imposition and he likes to dialogue with people who say yes to everything. “
For his part, the general secretary of the Costa Rican Education Workers Union (SEC), Gilbert Díaz, explained that the trade union movement has been defending its own agenda for months so that the Government does not promote projects against workers and families.
“They have charged the working class (with taxes) and are not touching big capital. We demand a dialogue table to build jointly with all sectors the most viable proposals that resolve the economic problems without handing over the institutions to the International Monetary Fund, “said Díaz.
They sue the Protestants
A lawyer identified as Carlos Valenciano went to the Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday to file a complaint against José Miguel Corrales and Célimo Guido, as leaders of the National Rescue Movement and promoters of the protests.
This citizen denounced the two leaders for the crimes of public instigation, obstruction of public services and obstruction of public roads, as a result of the road blockades that affect the country since last Wednesday.
Blockades have caused production impacts agriculture, dairy, exports, public transport, international trade, tourism and other economic activities at a time when entrepreneurs are trying to reactivate in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Costa Rica will close 2020 with a 9% fiscal deficit of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), an accumulated debt close to 70% of GDP and an economic fall of 5%, according to official projections.
The Government proposed as a palliative to the situation the negotiation of the agreement with the IMF, but this was rejected by political, productive and social sectors because 80% of the proposal was based on taxes. The initiative aimed to create global income and a bank transaction tax, and also increased that of income and real estate.
The remaining 20% corresponded to cuts in public spending through the merger of institutions and the sale of two assets: the National Liquor Factory and the International Bank of Costa Rica. This initiative appeared less than two years after Congress approved a controversial tax reform promoted by the Government.