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.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ecuadorians Agree With Foreign Debt Default

December 16, 2008

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - The majority of people in Ecuador believe their country should refrain from paying its foreign debt, according to a poll by Cedatos/Gallup. 61 per cent of respondents support a default.

Rafael Correa, a former finance minister, ran for president as an independent leftist under the Alliance Country (AP) banner. In November 2006, Correa won a run-off with 56.69 per cent of the vote. He officially took over as Ecuador’s head of state in January 2007, and vowed to change the country’s Constitution. Correa’s party nominated no candidates to the National Congress.

In September, Ecuadorian voters ratified a new constitution in a nationwide referendum. The draft was approved by the pro-government majority in the Constituent Assembly.

Since taking office, Correa has referred to Ecuador’s foreign debt as "illegal" and has hinted at a default. The president claims that previous governments mishandled debt negotiations and used privileged information for personal financial gain. He ordered an audit of foreign debt in 2007.

Last month, Hugo Arias, coordinator of the Special Commission for Foreign Debt Audit, said that "indications of illegality" in the debt contracts and negotiation processes were found. Arias raised speculation that Ecuador will default on up to $10.2 billion U.S. of external sovereign debt, saying that it is "a giant and unpayable monster."

Earlier this month, Ecuador defaulted on two debt interest payments worth more than $60 million U.S. Correa stated that his government would present a proposal to "acknowledge" some of that debt, but at a "lower price."

Polling Data

Should Ecuador pay its foreign debt?





Not sure


Source: Cedatos/Gallup
Methodology: Face-to-face interviews with 1,326 Ecuadorian adults, conducted from Nov. 27 to Dec. 2, 2008. Margin of error is 3.2 per cent.

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