On Thursday seven former presidents attended the call that the president Carlos Alvarado made to them to examine the main challenges of the country and the contributions that must be made to the present and future welfare of the Costa Ricans.
Oscar Arias Sanchez (1986-1990 and 2006-2010), Rafael Angel Calderon Fournier (1990-1994), Jose María Figueres Olsen (1994-1998), Abel Pacheco de la Espriella (2002-2006), Laura Chinchilla Miranda (2010-2014) and Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera (2014-2018). Former president Miguel Angel Rodriguez Echeverría (1998-2002) participated via Skype.
President Carlos Alvarado Quesada acknowledged the valuable contribution that the former presidents have given to the country and highlighted in particular “their willingness to work around the issues that unite us to get Costa Rica ahead”.
They also insisted on the importance of resolving the fiscal issue (tax reforms) and the approval of Bill 20580, stimulating growth and promoting integral development in Costa Rica.
The meeting, that took place at Casa Presidencial (Presidential House) in Zapote, resulted in the signing of a historic declaration in which all are committed to developing joint solutions.
This is the statement:
1. The national roadmap must be a joint construction. Over and above partisan differences, we must privilege constructive dialogue to develop joint solutions that respond to the important challenges we face and generate opportunities for all.
2. The fiscal situation the country is experiencing is really worrying. It requires the commitment and effort of each Costa Rican to clean up public finances, through the adoption of measures to reduce spending, tackle tax evasion and smuggling and ensure results towards the future with a constitutional rule, achieve better collection and stimulate economic growth.
3. The discussion and approval of Bill 20580, on Strengthening Public Finances, is fundamental once the legislative agreements have been reached. Strengthening and fiscal consolidation do not allow postponement and must be carried out in such a way that, at the same time, the final text that is put to the vote of the Legislative Plenary preserves the necessary resources for social programs and ensures the economic stability of the country.
4. It is essential to stimulate growth in parallel. Promoting higher levels of public and private investment in infrastructure, better public education, advancing in the Digital Government, the efficiency of the State and the growth of employment throughout the national territory are fundamental actions to achieve a more equitable country, with opportunities for all . Facing problems and advancing education is irreplaceable to overcome inequities and make a leap in our development.
5. We must promote an integral development. In accordance with our historical vocation and facing the Bicentennial, we must ensure that the balance sheets that have guaranteed the integral development of our nation are maintained, through universal and focused social policies that reduce poverty, inequality and informality in employment, a renewed commitment to environmental sustainability and the recovery of the safety of our citizens.
6. Confront international challenges together. Guarantee our sovereignty, maintain the prestige of Costa Rica in the concert of nations and the struggles for peace, disarmament, democracy, the environment and human rights.