Emergency Health Decree Takes Effect in Ecuador

January 12, 2011

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Quito, Jan 11 (Prensa Latina) The Ecuadorian healthcare system begins a new stage Tuesday after President Rafael Correa passed an emergency decree to provide it with funds of 406 million USD.

  The figure, the largest in history for the sector, will be paid out in parts, and the first involves 50 million to hire professionals and fully supply public hospitals with medicine.

The emergency decree has a national character, but it will first target eight hospitals chosen according to their importance for the population, poverty levels, and regional distribution.

The emergency funds are aimed at strengthening hospital management and infrastructure to improve the services of the Public Health Ministry, said Health Minister David Chiriboga.

The decree is a prompt response by the government to improve the public health system, said the coordination minister for social development, Jeannette Sanchez.

Source: Prensa Latina

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Correa Snubs Legislative Pressures on Education Law

January 12, 2011

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Quito, Jan 10 (Prensa Latina) Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said he will not accept pressures by a wing of the National Assembly conditioning the approval of the Education Law currently being debated to the implementation of the Teacher’s Day social payment.

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Socialist International Condemns Plans to Destabilize Ecuador

October 4, 2010

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Panama – Sep 30 (Prensa Latina) The Committee of the Socialist International for Latin America and the Caribbean on Thursday condemned attempts to destabilize the democratic institution in Ecuador and expressed its solidarity with President Rafael Correa.

  A statement of the organization condemned attacks againts the physical integrity of Correa, when he went to talk to the police who had been insubordinate.

“We call on all democratic forces and institutions in the region and the world to immediately act in defense of Ecuadorian democracy and its legitimate president”, said the text signed by the head of the committee Martin Torrijos.

Ecuador’s government denounced on Thursday before the world the coup attempt in the country and called on all Ecuadorians and the international community to be on the alert.

An official release said that the particular interests of certain groups can not be over the general interests of all people.

Many governments and international institutions expressed their solidarity with Correa and condemned attempts to destabilize the order.

Source: Prensa Latina

Ecuador FM on Police Bonus

October 4, 2010

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 Sep 30 (Prensa Latina) Ecuador Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño said the government of President Rafael Correa has restored the Police and Armed Forcesâ�Ö dignity while it realigns public services and rids privileges.

  The Foreign Ministers said the new law restores fair salaries and order for each group used to defend its margins and the new Law organizes the salaries of Ecuadorian public servants and the policemen are big beneficiaries as well.

For instance, Police pay rise under the Government of the Citizensâ�Ö Revolution involves 74.7 percent for 1st Corporals (from $547.20 to $956.30) and 84.9 percent to noncommissioned officers (from $1.020 to $1.887).

Several provinces joined the challenge of the new Law on Public Service, especially Art. 160 that bars economic incentives for decorations, time of service and promotions.

Some 1,000 policemen set Regimiento Quito 1, north of the capital, under siege urging to restore trhe old bonus system. They even stalled an address by Police Commander General Freddy Martinez with a tear gas bomb, blocked every access and burnt tires, while some attacked President Rafael Correa, aborting his attempt to talk them into reason.

President Correa reminded that “no one has done as much for the police as his government” and “no one never expected such payback from the National Police after enjoying such broad supportâ��.

This has been the first government to listen to the Policeâ��.They were paid low salaries and charity-like Christmas freebees whose riddance we compensated with fair salaries but the protesters went on insulting.”

Source: Prensa Latina

Ecuador Boosts UNASUR Treaty Ratification

October 4, 2010

Quito, Sep 29 (Prensa Latina) Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino highlighted his government´s efforts to achieve ratification of the constituent treaty of Union of South American Nations before the rotating presidency is handed over to Guyana on November 26.

  The treaty needs to be ratified by at least nine of the bloc’s 12 member countries to take effect, and so far, seven ratifications have been made, with Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Colombia, and Surinam still pending, Patino said.

Intense efforts have been made so that the 12 countries can ratify it this year. “It is unlikely that the 12 can do it, but with nine countries, it would go into effect,” he noted.

“It would be a very important achievement for Ecuador’s temporary chairmanship. We hope that Ecuador hands in the ratified treaty on November 26, so that UNASUR becomes a legal reality,” the minister stressed.

Very positive talks for the treaty’s ratification have been held with countries such as Guyana, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Colombia, and these countries are expected to make their announcements in coming days.

Source: Prensa Latina

Correa: has not ruled out new elections

July 27, 2010

Next general election scheduled for 2013
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Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa left the door open to dissolving the Andean nation’s legislature and calling for new general elections, about a year after the last poll.

The leftist leader’s statement came after a week of heated debate in parliament — where Correa’s party has the most seats but not an outright majority — over an education bill and a new hydrocarbons law.

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Ecuador moving to increase state role in oil sector

July 27, 2010

QUITO, July 24 (Reuters) – Ecuador will enact a law on Monday aimed at increasing state control over the country’s oil sector, and that could set the stage for nationalization of noncomplying companies, President Rafael Correa said.

The law will govern new contracts the government is preparing, aimed at increasing state oil revenues.

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Ecuador’s Correa To Enact Hydrocarbons Reforms On Monday

July 27, 2010

By Mercedes Alvaro

QUITO -(Dow Jones)- President Rafael Correa said Saturday that on Monday he will enact reforms to a hydrocarbons law that aims to expropriate foreign company operations unless they sign service contracts increasing state control of the industry.

During his weekly radio address, Correa said that “on Monday, in strict defense of the Constitution, the bill will become law of the republic” because lawmakers failed to meet the time limit set to decide about the project.

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Ecuador to Sign Agreement Creating Yasuni-ITT Fund on Aug. 3

July 27, 2010

By Belen Delgado

LIMA – The Ecuadorian government and the United Nations Development Program are expected to sign an agreement on Aug. 3 creating a trust fund to manage international contributions to the Yasuni-ITT initiative.

Cultural Patrimony Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa told Efe Friday at an international book fair in Lima, where she presented the project, that her focus is already on the direct negotiations to raise funds in interested countries.

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Ecuador Seeks To Nullify Ruling In Chevron Case

July 12, 2010

QUITO -(Dow Jones)- Ecuador has asked the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague to nullify a ruling that ordered to the Andean country to pay to Chevron Corp. (CVX: 71.85, 0, 0%) up to $700 million.

Last March, an international arbitration panel of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ordered to Ecuador to pay up to $700 million in damages and interest because its courts took too long to rule on lawsuits brought by the oil giant.

The court found that Ecuador’s courts violated international law by delaying rulings on certain commercial disputes between Chevron’s Texaco and the government.

The court also ruled that Ecuador had violated the U.S.-Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty by failing to provide effective means of asserting claims and enforcing rights.

The Ecuador Attorney’s Office said Friday in a statement that it asked Thursday for the nullification of the ruling because the arbitration tribunal was not the proper forum to hear the dispute.

Chevron’s lawsuits in Ecuador were related to past oil operations of Texaco Inc. in the South American country. Texaco was acquired by Chevron in 2001.

The ruling is unrelated to another long-running environmental lawsuit brought against Chevron in Ecuador by residents of the country’s oil-producing Amazon region.

The company is accused of having used out-of-date technology that led to the environmental damage. Chevron denies the accusations.

A court-appointed expert has estimated Chevron’s liability in that case to be $27 billion. Chevron has challenged the expert’s qualifications.

Source: Dow Jones