The people of Ecuador are rising up to refound their country as a pluri-national homeland for all. This inspiring movement, with Ecuador's indigenous peoples at its heart, is part of the revolution spreading across the Americas, laying the groundwork for a new, fairer, world. Ecuador Rising aims to bring news and analysis of events unfolding in Ecuador to english speakers.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ecuadorean president hopes new regional lending institution created in 4 months

IHT, Feb 24, 2007.

QUITO, Ecuador: Ecuador's new leftist president said Saturday that he hopes a new regional lending institution will be established within four months.

The Banco del Sur, or Bank of the South, will help combat the "international bureaucracy" of high-cost loans offered by financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Rafael Correa said in a nationwide radio address.

"We hope (the bank) is created within 120 days so we can finance ourselves with the region's own funds," he said.

Correa said that even the IMF's low-interest loans are unacceptable because the institution imposes "unacceptable conditions" such as fines that make them more expensive than commercial loans.

The new bank was approved at a summit of the Southern Common Market, or Mercosur, last July.

Correa, who took office Jan. 15, said this new regional institution would "drastically lower" loan costs.

Correa has vowed to cut ties with the IMF, and has promised to renegotiate the country's US$16.4 billion (€12.5 billion) foreign debt and direct resources to programs that help the poor.

Earlier this month, the economy minister said Ecuador would not sign an agreement allowing the IMF to monitor the country's economic plan.

Venezuela already has set aside US$500 million (€382 million) in financing for Ecuador. On Thursday, Venezuelan Finance Minister Rodrigo Cabezas said it was still not decided how the financing would be extended to Ecuador, although he favors the purchase of Ecuadorean government bonds.

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