Costa Rica adds 13 days of protests in rejection of tax...

Costa Ricans have been protesting for at least 13 days, rejecting the inclusion of new taxes in a proposed agreement that the government intends to take to the IMF to clean up the country’s finances.

Demonstrators clashed with riot police on Tuesday during the protest that was taking place near the Presidential House in San José (Costa Rica), EFE reports.

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Last Monday, the police also used tear gas to disperse protesters who charged and threw stones at the officers.

“No more taxes” the protesters chanted in the mobilization, while others arrived with banners that read “legislative power, judiciary, legislate for the people,” AFP reports.

It has been two weeks of road blockades in various parts of the country against the proposal to increase taxes as part of the negotiation to reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The government withdrew its proposal for a tax increase on Sunday, October 4. And although the mobilizations initially continued, they were declining throughout the last week.

President Carlos Alvarado, along with the legislative president, Eduardo Cruickshank, announced Sunday night the start of a national dialogue with all sectors of the country starting next Saturday.

The participants of the dialogue will have four weeks to formulate a proposal to face the financial crisis that the country is experiencing. It includes employers, unions, academics and others.

The demonstrations have been held to pressure not to include new taxes in any future pact.

Costa Rica closed 2019 with a fiscal deficit of 6% of GDP, but this year it projects a strong increase to at least 9.7% of GDP, as a result of the containment measures for the covid-19 pandemic.

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