“I made an ungrateful commitment, also with these people, which was to preserve stability because it is not popular … as it is not popular to go to war, it is not popular to do the right thing. For a reason, we spent 20 years doing it “.
With these words, the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, defended this September 30th the need to increase taxes as part of the negotiation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan of $ 1.75 billion.
“Today I look with envy at countries that have fiscal space to extend benefits to companies and people, they can do it because they have fiscal maneuverability, they can get into debt, like Chile, Colombia, Germany, what is our margin? I ask,” said the President after participating in the Governing Council held in Puntarenas to commemorate the anniversary of the death of the national heroes Juan Rafael Mora and José María Cañas
“I believe in this country and I believe that we are going to move forward because there is the example of Mora and Cañas who, against all odds in history, defeated a slave army,” he said.
The event was held at the Pacific regional headquarters of the National Technical University (UTN) and was attended by deputies and local authorities. The government ministers had a virtual presence.
The right, not the most popular
“Doing the right thing is not the most applauded … we still have time to avoid a crisis and we have time to be better” added Alvarado, stating that “only united we can move forward”, since “there is no easy way out.”
His words were delivered while in different parts of the country, groups of Costa Ricans demonstrated against the proposed new taxes raised by the Alvarado Quesada administration. At noon, road 21 and highway closures were reported in different parts of the country.
During his speech, Alvarado Quesada reiterated his message of the union. “Imagine a Costa Rican army marching into Nicaragua in the division, in hatred. What would have happened? Facing a mercenary army that had Americans, Germans, French; and our Costa Ricans who were marching barefoot, poorly fed and not so well armed What would have happened if we had not gone together? “, he stressed.
Alvarado said that progress should be made with the proposals put forward by the Executive to avoid a major crisis and reiterated that to obtain resources they do not want to generate layoffs in the public sector, nor do they want to sell assets such as the Costa Rican Electricity Institute.
The president emphasized the spending cut of ¢ 318 billion that has been carried out this year and mentioned projects in the Legislative Assembly to improve control of tax collection and prevent evasion.
“We need to talk about where or how that is the balance we need to find,” said the president when responding to all the requests and criticisms received in Puntarenas, mainly after Alvarado called the people who oppose the new taxes, irresponsible. “Today we are in a severe dilemma because if we have a mask it is because we have a Pandemic that affects our health but also our economy, severely.
The president promised to take measures to generate employment in the province, “bring more companies”, develop road and educational infrastructure. He recognized that there are certain works, for example, in housing that he cannot guarantee, since their execution requires credits and the country has a limited capacity to borrow more.
“That is my dilemma, but it is also our dilemma as a society, of each and everyone, and only when we reach the moment of understanding, that it does not affect me exclusively as a person, but everyone, is where we come to understand that we all have to give something,” he said, reiterating that the proposals do not affect the poorest, do not affect the salary of 70 percent of the population and that the bank transaction tax does not affect the most vulnerable either. He added that the idea is to achieve the contribution of those who have the most: “the wealthiest groups.”