President Carlos Alvarado and Eduardo Cruickshank, President of the Legislative Assembly, on Sunday introduced a multi-sectorial round table meant to face the economic situation faced by Costa Rica.
In a video broadcast on national TV, the two leaders said that meetings will first address Costa Rica’s immediate financial crisis, and then respond to employment and economic growth.
“We need to take measures to avoid a fiscal crisis, to guarantee the well-being of Costa Ricans and protect social investment,” said President Alvarado.
The round table will begin Saturday, October 17 and will include participation from lawmakers and local leaders, the president said. It will be mediated by Jorge Vargas Cullell, director of the TV program Estado de la Nación (State of the Nation).
Alvarado said the government will pursue policies that align with the agreements reached in the dialogue.
“I assume the concrete commitment to the results of the process,” he said.
The announcement comes in context of Costa Rica’s planned negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $1.75 billion loan to address the country’s economic situation, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic.
To secure an IMF loan, the Presidency introduced a since-withdrawn series of financial measures, including tax increases which were criticized by Cruickshank and others.
Since September 30, protesters have organized marches and roadblocks to demand that upcoming fiscal policies avoid creating new taxes.
Blockades on Monday, October 12
As of 8 a.m. on Monday, October 12, the following spots are blocked by protesters in Costa Rica, according to information provided by the Public Security Ministry:
- Route 2 at El Ceibo.
- Route 2 at El Brujo.
- Route 2 at Longo Mai.
- Route 2 at Loma Verde.
- Route 249 at Ticaban La Teresa.
- Route 2 at Paso Canoas (by the Panamanian customs office).
Blockades near land border posts have impacted commerce throughout Central America. The demonstrations have also impacted domestic tourism, but led to signed agreements with the government.
Since road conditions and blockades can change throughout the day, we recommend using Waze to plan trips.