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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Speculation Wave to Destabilize Ecuador

Quito, Jul 19 (Prensa Latina) Ecuadorian Agriculture minister, Carlos Vallejo, affirmed that increased prices of some food products, such as milk and rice is aimed to destabilize the national government.

“There is proven provocation,” against the president, Vallejo informed, blaming industry groups for this situation.

He explained that last week he held talks with the milk company bosses and a day later “arrogantly demonstrating that they can do what they want,” they upped the price of this important product.

This is proof that they “want are moving against government policy” by raising the price of milk to 60 US dollar cents.

The official added that there is no justification for a rise in rice prices as production in the country was very high.

He warned that if face of this speculation wave and rise in costs of basic food products, the country’s president, Rafael Correa, has the legal authority to set prices, “in cases of extreme necessity.”

Although there are no rules governing the free market, Correa can adopt measures when increases are not justified, he concluded.

According to the Consumer Tribunal, rises between 25 and 50 percent affect products of basic needs, such as rice, oil, meat and milk as well as vegetables.

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