The president of Ecuador, the conservative Guillermo Lasso, assured this Wednesday that with the dissolution of the National Assembly (Parliament), he closed “a long chapter of deinstitutionalization and abuse of power, led by political sectors that had set the cooptation of the whole state.”
This was stated in his report to the nation after completing two years in office, at a time when the country is immersed in an extraordinary electoral process after Lasso applied the so-called “cross death”, for “serious political crisis and internal commotion”, in the midst of a political trial of censorship promoted by the opposition where his dismissal seemed close.
The president noted that, with this, he put an end to “a political confrontation that had the country immersed in a crisis that worsened over time” and considered that the greatest recognition of this decision is the popular support by asserting that “cross death” has the support of 80% of Ecuadorians
“The vast majority have applauded the application of the measure as the best moral sanction against the obstructionists, with obvious coup efforts,” Lasso said of the opposition, a left-wing majority that controlled the Assembly.
In his speech he did not reveal if he will stand for re-election in the extraordinary elections and only asked voters to know how to choose “the best Ecuadorians.”
Lasso highlighted the reduction of the fiscal deficit from 7,500 million dollars to less than 2,000 million dollars, he noted that as of December 2022, Ecuador had inflation of 3.7% and by 2023 he expects it to be the lowest with 1.4% and a growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) of 3%, according to the projections of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
By the end of 2023, the level of public debt will have been reduced to 55%, that is, 12 percentage points less than three years ago, and he stressed that, during his term, “1.1 million Ecuadorians have come out of poverty, and around 500,000 jobs have been created”.
He also recalled that has complied with increasing the basic salary by 25 dollars each year, now set at $450 per month.
Lasso highlighted the deployment of “severe control of tax evaders” and other actions that allowed an increase in tax collection to more than 17,000 million dollars in 2022, around 3 billion more than in 2021.
And he recalled that the first action after the “cross death” was to send to the Constitutional Court, with the character of urgent economic, a modification to the tax reform that increases tax deductions and that benefits 340,000 middle-class families.
He also stressed that “social investment” this year reached 15,276 million dollars, “the largest figure in history”, which includes the budgets for education, health, housing, work and social welfare.
In addition, he commented that his Government has delivered 2,300 million dollars in seven different bonds to 1.5 million children, mothers, the elderly, people with disabilities, among others.
ECUADOR IN THE WORLD
The Government is working to finalize trade agreements with around 10 countries, is about to sign a treaty with South Korea and has already signed others with Costa Rica and Chinaa market of 1,400 million potential consumers.
In addition, he highlighted tourism as one of the main sources of income and noted that as of December 2022, Ecuador had recovered 85% of international connectivity, with 292 weekly frequencies.
In 2021, Ecuador received 590,000 foreign visitors, while in 2022 the number rose to more than 1.2 million.
Lasso claimed to have achieved the “largest debt-for-conservation swap in the history of humanity”: 1.6 billion dollars in exchange for protecting the Galapagos Marine Reserve and the Hermandad Reserve, which make up 198,000 square kilometers of surface area, “and guarantee the preservation of at least 2,500 species.
The head of state pointed out that his government supports formal and responsible mining, that generates resources and employment, while fighting illegal mining, which has been declared a State threat, as well as drug trafficking and terrorism.
In this sense, he hoped that the extraordinary elections would allow the formation of a great national agreement against the insecurity caused by organized crime. “We cannot allow organized crime to try to dominate Ecuador with the complicity of political traitors to the country, or bad judicial servants,” he stressed.
“We have seized, in two years, a record figure of 420 tons of drugs, a historical amount equivalent to five times the annual average of what has been seized in the last 15 years,” he concluded before reaffirming that he will continue along the same lines in the coming months. .