The Moreno administration argued that oil prices and the Covid-19 have placed the country in a critical situation.
After the decisions announced by President Lenin Moreno on Tuesday night, thousands of Ecuadorian citizens used social media to express their outrage at a set of "brutal economic decisions", popularly known as "Paquetazo", which are aimed to favor the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agenda in this South American country.
To justify actions such as budget cuts and reductions in public workers' wages, the Ecuadorian government argued that the drop in oil prices and the coronavirus outbreak have placed the country in a critical situation.
These arguments were immediately contested by progressive social organizations which recalled that the country's crisis had been shaping up since Moreno came to power in 2017, the year in which the economy began to decline.
"During the last six months, Moreno evaded the alternative economic policy proposal presented by our organization," the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE) tweeted.
"We and the Parliament of Peoples and Social Organizations will not be complicit in another 'Paquetazo'. We will take action on these decisions that affect the Ecuadorian people," it added.
La CONAIE y Parlamento de Pueblos y Organizaciones Sociales está alerta ante anuncio de medidas económicas, no será cómplice de otro #Paquetazo. Frente a crisis económica en octubre 2019, con real participación ciudadana, presentó propuesta económica que @Lenin no tomó en cuenta pic.twitter.com/oXLwmXX5jn— CONAIE (@CONAIE_Ecuador) March 10, 2020
"Could Moreno be more miserable?" journalist Oriol Sabata commented on the adjustment policies, which also include a cut in public purchases of goods and services by US$800 million and capital goods by US$600 million.
"Lenin Moreno is using the coronavirus crisis to impose new neoliberal measures: closing down regulatory and control agencies, public companies and state media," he added.
"This is another disappointment to the people. As he assures that there will be no 'Paquetazo', he is auctioning off public companies to private capital," the Ecuadorian Communist Party (PCE) said.
"The democratic and popular forces of Ecuador are against privatization and the oligarchy," the PCE added.