Correa Defends His Legacy in Ecuador Amid Deepening Recession

BloombergEcuador President Rafael Correa delivered his final state-of-the-nation address Tuesday before stepping down next year with a vigorous defense of his near decade in power.

Correa has had to oversee an end to Ecuador’s boom times, with the collapse of oil prices helping push the economy into recession. The International Monetary Fund estimates Ecuador’s economy will shrink 4.5 percent this year and 4.3 percent in 2017, which would rival the downturn of 1999-2000. Those forecasts were made before the country was struck by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake April 16 that killed at least 655 people and which Correa said could cut growth by 3 percentage points.

The president blamed the crisis on external events he called a “perfect storm” of the fall in the price of oil, the country’s dominant export, as well as the strengthening of the U.S. dollar, which Ecuador introduced in 2000 to stave off hyperinflation. Even as supporters want to hold a referendum to allow him to stand once again in next year, Correa pledged that this term will be his final one. …




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