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, January 17, 2009

Ecuador Values Social Investment

Quito, Jan 16 (Prensa Latina) The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, affirmed that social expenditure in 2008 surpassed, for the first time, the amount destined for the payment of public debt, which is proof of the priority of his government.

It is an incomparable change in finances with level records of investments because the assignation of social resources is a political process that reflects the relationship of force in a society, Correa pointed out in his report to the nation.

He presented his report in the Nacional Assembly with the participation of 1,200 guests and pointed out that "if priority was payment of the debt, assuredly power in this country would be in the hands of speculative financial capital."

Instead priority is on education and health indicating that here it is the Ecuadorian people who command.

The president expressed that in the past 12 months the historical debt to the Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security was settled, without international financial institutions as would have been done by previous governments.

Mentioning the achievements in the social arena he pointed out that health care of the family and community tripled while equipment and personnel quadrupled and, for the first time, no serious epidemics occurred after serious coastal flooding.

Referring to housing the largest program in the history of the nation was put in force and 12,000 ownership bonds were given out.

Correa also defended public investment made during his management last year, considering it the most active Ecuador has ever had.

He criticized the opposition that "does not understand the difference between saving and liquidity and intend to deceive the people with falsehoods," and announced that in 2008 the government invested in Petroecuador more than one billion dollars surpassing the 640 million spent between 2003 and 2006 by previous administrations.

The head of state alerted that if 200 million had been invested in the past 10 years on projects to prevent flooding, 60 lives would not have been lost as well as 700 million dollars during the harsh winter of last year.

He pointed out that his mandate would not use money of the affiliates of the Social Security Institution without an adequate policy of investment and denied that funds for the social sector are used to pay the debt.

"That will never be done by this government of Citizen Revolution," he concluded.

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