Ecuador: Correa celebrates 400th ‘Enlace Ciudadano’

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Correa celebrates 400th ‘Enlace Ciudadano’; Commision completes analysis of Quito Metro proposals; Supplies on the way to Galapagos after ship sinks

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Correa celebrates 400th ‘Enlace Ciudadano’

The 400th edition of Enlace Ciudadano (Citizen Link), President Rafael Correa’s weekly television and radio broadcast, was aired on 29th November.

The event took place at the municipal stadium of Guayallabamba, a rural population to the north of Quito, the nation’s capital.

The town’s streets were filled with exuberant celebrations as thousands poured in to mark the occasion. A carnival atmosphere was encouraged, with clowns, balloons and popcorn, as well as free food and drink for attendants.

The President ensured that overseas Ecuadorian migrant communities were also able to play a part in the milestone. During the broadcast he held conversations with Ecuadorians resident in Spain, Italy and the United States.

Correa praised the contribution of those living abroad in the overcoming of the financial crisis, a crisis Correa attributes to the banking system. He said, “This country was broken by the rich and saved by the poor”.

Among those joining President Correa through internet conferences was former Vice-President Lenín Moreno, who is currently employed by the United Nations in Switzerland.

During the weekly talk, which has taken place each Saturday since January 2007 and is broadcast on 300 television and radio stations, Correa predicted hardship for Ecuador due to a fall in oil prices. However, he said that the country would prevail, “The most important thing in a country isn’t its oil, but rather its people”.

He was quick to draw attention to the fact that five years ago, when the country was affected by a similar situation, the economy still grew by 1% despite an overall shrinking of the Latin American economy.

Commission completes analysis of Quito Metro proposals

On 27th November the commission charged with the analysis of the four competing offers put forward for the construction of the second phase of Quito’s metro released a report detailing its findings.

The report has been submitted to credit agencies so they can examine it before giving their approval, a vital step according to Mauricio Rodas, Mayor of Quito.

Following approval, authorities will begin to look for the US$1,500 million necessary to fund the project.

On 1st December Rodas will meet with President Correa in order to present him with a new, alternative plan for financing the construction. Quito’s Mayor has stated that this new plan will avoid creating a financial burden for the capital.

Supplies on the way to Galapagos following ship sinking

A second ship, the Floreana, has set sail from the Pacific port of Guayaquil in the direction of the Galapagos Islands and carrying 2,000 tonnes of provisions. This measure has been instigated following the sinking of a supply ship off the coast of the island of Santa Elena two weeks ago.

The Angelina I, which arrived at the archipelago last Friday, began the process of replenishing of the islands with supplies. The effort will now be continued by the Floreana, which is carrying stocks of food, building materials and machinery.

A further ship will set sail on 2nd December, and the Ecuadorian Armed Forces has stated its commitment to sending flights to the islands of Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal and Isabela to deliver stocks of perishable foods.