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  • Protest against President Lenin Moreno's administration, Quito, Ecuador, August 31, 2020.

    Protest against President Lenin Moreno's administration, Quito, Ecuador, August 31, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @PerezMoyaTlSUR

Published 3 September 2020
Opinion

In March, the Moreno administration preferred to pay US$340 million to foreign debt creditors.

Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno Wednesday announced that his country will receive a US$2 billion loan from China, besides the US$6.5 billion that was negotiated with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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"During this year, we are also going to receive US$2 billion from the People's Republic of China," Moreno said and acknowledged that his administration reached a technical agreement with the IMF in August.

In October 2019, however, the first Ecuador-IMF agreement sparked massive protests across the country. Several social organizations took to the streets for over 10 consecutive days to reject the economic policies that the Moreno administration announced.

In March, amid the worst moments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ecuadorian government was also harshly rejected by the population because its officials preferred to pay US$340 million to foreign debt creditors instead of using that money for the health emergency.

"We were aware that paying those US$340 million in March would have a political cost, but not having done so would have led the country to default," Finance Minister Richard Martinez said.

In this South American country, citizens continue to protest the Moreno administration's IMF-recommended austerity policies.

Dozens of health professionals have repeatedly gathered outside the government headquarters to reject the delay in the payment of their wages for over four months.

Likewise, teachers have met outside the Education Ministry to protest against budget cuts that have left thousands of teachers unemployed.

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