Thursday 9 February 2023

Carlos Alvarado: ‘Yes, we are going to go to the IMF’

The president maintains that an agreement with the IMF will get Costa Rica out of the current economic crisis

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9 February 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – Can Costa Rica come out from the current economic crisis without the help of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)?

President Carlos Alvarado speaking with Armando González, director of La Nación, for more than an hour about those and other decisive issues for the country, amid a climate of uncertainty topped by the pandemic. See the interview (in Spanish) here.

President Carlos Alvarado doesn’t think so.

“Yes, we are going to go to the International Monetary Fund,” said the Alvarado, adding that it was first necessary to dispel the ‘ideological hubbub’ that the CCSS or the AyA will be privatized, or that thousands of people will be fired.

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In an interview with La Nación, the President affirms that he instructed his team not to refer to the issue of negotiations with the IMF during the dialogue with sectors. He admitted responsibility for the confusion that this instruction may have generated, but confirms that the country move ahead to negotiate a deal with the IMF.

He maintains that an agreement with the IMF will make the fiscal solution cheaper for Costa Rica.

In the interview, he expressed support for his Minister of Finance, Elian Villegas, saying “Elian, who is doing a great job; for example, the profile of our debt is improving”.

On the minister’s evading questions the last sveral days, Alvarado said, “He was very disciplined with an instruction that I gave to my entire team, to say we are not going to refer to the subject in substance during the processes that are linked to dialogue.”

If you will recall, for three weeks starting September 30, the country was subjected to protests and blockades, some events turning violent, against the multi billion dollar loan agreement with the IMF.

By the middle of October, the government backed down and called the different sectors to a series of roundtable dialogues, which has come under criticism for being nothing more to complete the proposal to be submitted to the IMF, because no government has the capacity and the interest to get us out of this crisis, only to transfer it.

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The country’s legislators have classified the dialogues as a “waste of time.”

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