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.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Ecuador to tap into oil funds for credit line

QUITO, March 22 (Reuters) - Ecuador will tap into its oil funds to open a $250 million credit line for small producers, a top government official said on Thursday.

Deputy Economy Minister Hugo Jacome said President Rafael Correa will sign a decree on Friday to open the credit line that state banks will deliver to farmers and shop owners.

Correa, a leftist former economy minister, has increased spending on social programs and warned he will not pay foreign debt if education and health spending goals are not met.

Wall Street analysts fear uncontrolled spending could hurt Ecuador's economic fundamentals and ultimately lead to a default.

The loans will be drawn from a series of oil funds originally created to meet foreign debt obligations and invest in the weakening energy sector. Government officials have said the funds total around $2 billion.

Ecuador's economy is expected to grow 3.3 percent this year, compared with 4.3 percent in 2006, according to the central bank.

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