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.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ecuadorean President Announces Changes

Quito, Nov 11 (Prensa Latina) Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said on Saturday that contracts with mining companies will be renegotiated and changes will be made in Petroecuador, because the country is not developing as it needs.

"The companies do not pay royalties for mining concessions," Correa said on his regular radio program on Saturday, broadcast from Santiago, Chile, where he attended the Ibero-American Summit.

He pointed out that most mines are not working, so agreements will be reached on "five or six projects that are already being exploited."

"Deep changes must be made. Reviewing all those mining concessions" that do not contribute to the State, he stressed.

The president noted that the government would not allow anyone to rob the national economy, because there are 4,000 contracts to exploit mineral resources in Ecuador.

The Constituent Assembly will be the appropriate framework to approve a new mining law that will establish how much the State will be paid for allowing them to exploit underground resources, Correa stressed.

Regarding the state-owned company Petroecuador, he pointed out that some changes will be made, because "I feel that they are not in a hurry" to guarantee quality and to speed up the construction of a new refinery.

He noted the country's needs to refine its own crude oil "to consume our own byproducts and export the surplus byproducts with an added value."

Correa said that the Esmeralda refinery is being remodeled to improve efficiency, and a new oil-processing plant will be built.

The president called to work rapidly so that Ecuador can benefit from high oil prices that will continue to increase for the next five or six years, due to the current international situation.

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