The deputy Víctor Morales was appointed Thursday as the new Minister of the Presidency, a position equivalent to that of the chief of staff, with the mission of promoting the revival of the economy to combat high unemployment.
President Carlos Alvarado announced that Morales will assume the vacant position, with responsibilities that include coordination of the cabinet and liaison with the parliament.
“What will be the fundamental task of Don Víctor? It is the central task of the government: the generation of employment, the revival of our economy, in a context of social peace and dialogue,” Alvarado said when announcing the appointment at Casa Presidencial.
“We are at a particular moment” in which economic growth projections throughout Latin America have been revised downward, Alvarado warned.
“Even so, we are committed to working hard to generate jobs. That will be our central task,” he said.
Last week, the Central Bank reduced the economic growth projection in Costa Rica from 3.2% to 2.2% for this year.
Meanwhile, Costa Rica’s official statistics agency announced Thursday that unemployment rose to 11.9% in the second quarter, one of the highest figures in recent years.
Morales, a 61-year-old lawyer, served as deputy for the Citizen Action Party.
Appointed to replace Rodolfo Piza, who resigned last Monday, Morales has been Minister of Labor and mayor of the town of Aserrí, south of San José.