Monday 6 February 2023

Despite the failure, Alvarado and Cruickshank insist: “The dialogue is still on”

12 of the 29 summoned sectors summoned to the dialogue table did not even respond, others asked for more time to decide whether they would participate or not, while others like the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of the Private Business Sector (Uccaep) said "no".

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Q COSTARICA – In a meeting with the Bloque Unitario Sindical y Social (Bussco), President Carlos Alvarado, said that “it is urgent to make consensual decisions promptly and that they be the most balanced in order to face the situation in the country.”

Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado (right) and the president of the Congress, Eduardo Cruickshank, had summoned 29 multisectoral groups to the dialogue table 

Alvarado acknowledged that the dialogue process promoted by the government cannot be extensive because time is short.

The president made his statements after the dialogue table convened for this Saturday with various sectors to reach agreements in the midst of the current economic and social crisis that the country is going through, failed.

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Despite the failure of the negotiating table, both Alvarado and the president of Congress, Eduardo Cruickshank, insist that “dialogue is still on”, although they acknowledged that they have to rethink the mechanism.

Both Alvarado and Cruickshank, respectively, are confident that a dialogue to seek a way out of the current fiscal crisis and that has triggered a series of demonstrations and violent protests in recent weeks, will take place.

“Dialogue is the Costa Rican way, the mechanism by which we have built the great agreements that characterize us as democracy. The Presidents of the Executive and Legislative Powers recognize and appreciate the will expressed by a great majority of Costa Rican sectors and organizations that have committed to participating in the multi-sector dialogue table for the construction of agreements. Entrepreneurs, women, municipal members, cooperatives, students, churches and solidarity members expressed their willingness to join the process.

“However, the initial mechanism proposed by the State of the Nation Program established criteria that, since they were not met at this point, did not make it possible to start the process. Given this reality of the initial methodology, it is necessary to build a new mechanism. Our call remains open because Costa Rica needs to dialogue to resolve the fiscal emergency. We will work in the coming hours and days in a multisectoral manner to reach the best formula that allows the dialogue to be carried out,” says the text of the statement from Alvarado and Cruickshank.

What happened to the dialogue table scheduled for this Saturday?

The multisectoral dialogue table convened by the President and scheduled to begin today, Saturday, October 17, was not formed.

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Thursday afternoon the director of the Programa de Estado de la Nación (State of the Nation Program), Jorge Vargas announced that said table will not start its work.

The announcement was made minutes after the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of the Private Business Sector (Uccaep) refused to participate.

Vargas also said that 12 other sectors, of the 29 summoned, did not even respond or asked for more time to decide whether they would participate or not.

The deadline to respond to the invitation expired Thursday.

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“The rule was clear: either all sectors agreed to participate in the multisectoral dialogue or it would not happen,” he said this Thursday.

The sectors that did agree to participate were the Chamber of Commerce, Fedecámaras, Cadexco, the Council for the Promotion of Competitiveness, the Inamu Women’s Forum, the Episcopal Conference, the National Evangelical Alliance, the National Union of Local Governments, the National Network of Local Economic Development Agents (Rednasol), the National Council of Cooperatives (Conacoop), the Confederation of University Students, a trade union confederation and the Costa Rican Confederation of Solidarity Associations (Concasol).

For their part, the Uccaep and Alianza Nacional Agropecuaria declined.

Teachers and trade unions, including the National Association of Educators (Ande) and the Union of Costa Rican Educators (SEC) asked for more time.

While the Workers’ Assembly of the Banco Popular, the National Association of Mayors and Municipalities and the Center for Cooperative Studies and Training (Cenecoop) did not respond.

On Monday, October 19, the Movimiento Social y Sindical Costarricense (Costa Rican Social and Trade Union Movement) have called for a “big” day of strikes and protests across the country.

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