On this week, farmers, doctors, teachers, and truckers took to the streets to demand that Paraguay's President Mario Abdo make increases in the minimum wage and improvements in the budget for health and education.
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Farmers demand the approval of Law 6669, which establishes a US$16 million budget to recover the family agriculture, which was affected by the pandemic and climatic conditions. "The government abandoned us to our fate. We feel betrayed," farmer leader Jorge Galeano said.
Educators request their sector be exempted from the economic consolidation bill, which prohibits wage increases for all public workers. The recalled that the 2018 wage law establishes a gradual 16 percent pay increase for educators from October.
Doctors demand their salary be consistent with the number of hours they work. "Physicians who work for 24 hours receive the same amount as other part-time health workers,” National Union of Physicians of Paraguay (SINAMED) Secretary Rossana Gonzalez said, adding that this situation has been dragging for ten years. Health professionals also request that the Abdo administration comply with an agreement to increase US$15 million to the COVID-19 related budget.
On Tuesday, Abdo signed a decree to create the Cargo Terrestrial Transport Committee, which will define fair prices of the grains and vegetable oils’ freight service. However, the Haulers Federation President Angel Zaracho stressed that his sector will carry on mobilizations since fixed prices have not yet been established for all carriers.
Currently, 8 out of 10 Paraguayans have a negative image of Abdo and disapprove of his economic policies, according to the Latin American Strategic Center for Geopolitics (CELAG).
In this country, the economic crisis has forced 42 percent of the citizens to go into debt to cover basic expenses such as food, education, or health. About 83 percent of Paraguayans agree to impose a tax on large fortunes, and 76 percent of the population demand the State to have better social protection policies.