Thursday 24 June 2021

President Alvarado announces cabinet shakeup

The outgoing ministers had differences with the President

(QCOSTARICA) President Carlos Alvaradothis Thursday announced changes in the ministers of Finance, Communication, and Science and Technology: Rodrigo Chaves, Luis Adrián Salazar and Nancy Marín.

The now former ministers, Rodrigo Chaves, Luis Adrián Salazar and Nancy Marín.

Elián Villegas, current president of the National Insurance Institute (INS) since 2015, and who has more than 25 years of experience in the financial sector, on June 1 will assume the post of Minister of Finance, replacing Rodrigo Chaves who resigned after seven months of coming to government.

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The Ministry of Communication will be in charge of Agustín Castro, who served as vice minister of the Presidency when that portfolio was led by Rodolfo Piza.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the Ministry of Science and Technology will be assumed by the current Deputy Minister Paola Vega.

According to the press release announced by Casa Presidencial, the exits are due to the search for a “refreshing of leadership in the middle of the government.”

“I want to thank Mr. Rodrigo Chaves, Mr. Luis Adrián Salazar and Mrs. Nancy Marín for the work that Costa Rica and the Administration have carried out in recent months and years,” said the president in a video message sent to the press.

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Of the three officials, only Salazar began his administration at the beginning of the Alvarado Quesada Administration, in May 2018.

Rodrigo Chaves was sworn in as Finance Minister on November 25, 2019, by President Carlos Alvarado, following the resignation of Rocío Aguilar. The now-former minister left a senior management position at the World Bank in Indonesia to take over the country’s public finances.

While Marín was in charge of the government’s Communication since January last year, when he relieved Juan Carlos Mendoza.

Chaves and Marín had a public disagreement exactly two months ago when the now-former Treasurer announced a plan that, he said, the government had to collect a solidarity tax on wages above ¢500,000 colones, in order to support the people whose income fell as a result of the covid-19 crisis.

Minutes later, on the Radio Monumental program “Matices”, Marín stated that Chaves did not have to have made such an announcement.

In the case of the Ministry of Communication, Agustín Castro, who is a journalist by profession and with a master’s degree in International Trade and Public Policy from George Mason University, in Washington, will assume the position.

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The Ministry of Science and Technology will be assumed by the current Vice Minister Paola Vega, who is a doctor in microelectronics from the Hamburg University of Technology in Hamburg.

In the press release, President Alvarado said he has entrusted his new Minister of Finance with three priority objectives: The protection of those affected by the pandemic, the containment of public spending, and the stability of public finances.

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