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“The future is now”
Latinamerica Press
6/5/2017
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Lenín Moreno sworn in the presidency with a conciliatory speech.

President Lenín Moreno, after the swearing in ceremony on May 24, began his term in office with some measures that could be considered as a change in style and a distancing from the model imposed by former President Rafael Correa (2007-2017).

In his inaugural speech, Moreno made special reference to the accomplishments made by Correa when he stated that “today comes to an end a period that leaves the country with more clear realities and objectives. It’s 10 years of health and education. A decade in which we forged the bases to live with clean and own energy. It’s 10 years of having witnessed the construction of roads, bridges, ports and airports; the recovery of the self-esteem, pride and sense of belonging of Ecuadorians. And much, much more.  This process has an entire people and also has a name: Citizens Revolution.”

He mentioned “our fellow indigenous people, the Montubio people and Afro-descendants, and the sectors historically excluded such as the persons with disabilities,” with whom we will hold open dialogue for policy making.

“We are all made from the same Ecuador. Today the legacy of our past blends with the present and the future that we have been building for the past 10 years now,” he said. “I am the president for all of you; I’m in bound with you; I respect everyone. I will work so that no one, absolutely no one, is left behind. The future is now.”

Moreno, who was sworn in before Congress for a four-year term, announced a series of measures including keeping dollarization and ruling out a parallel currency; the signing of an executive decree establishing an austere administration; the strengthening of agriculture and diversification of exports, “supporting not only major exporters, but also small producers so that the popular and solidarity economy has better and bigger production and broaden their access to international markets.”

“We have all the necessary products to be exporters of high quality goods and services,” he said. “We are going to strengthen regional integration,” he said, underpinning spaces such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

Moreno also announced that he will not continue with “Alcance Ciudadano” (Citizens’ Outreach), the radio and television program used by former President Correa to inform the population regarding issues of his presidency and to comment on current issues.

An entire lifetime
As part of the streamlining of the state, Moreno decided to eliminate the Secretariat of Good Living, Family Plan and four coordinating ministries. The government structure in the 10 years of Correa included 37 organisms: 23 sectoral ministries, four national secretariats, four coordinating secretariats and six coordinating ministries, added to which were the Secretariat of Good Living and Family Plan, the latter the governing entity for the prevention of teen pregnancy.

From the current 34 ministries and secretariats, 14 are headed by women. The Secretariat of Good Living, with ministerial status, was created by Correa in June 2013, shortly after starting his last mandate, to “promote the construction of an ethical, responsible, sustainable and conscious way of life, working alongside all the state institutions and the different members of society, so that Good Living becomes the citizen’s practice for a way of life at a state, national and international level.”

Freddy Ehlers, director of the secretariat, explained to the press that the entity was created to operate for four years, thus its closing was foreseen. For Moreno, while there is a need for an institution “that cares about the philosophy of Ecuadorians,” this initiative must be private.

Just as he had promised during his campaign, Moreno signed on May 26 the decree creating the plan “Toda una vida” (“An entire lifetime”), to benefit some two million people.

The key elements of this program — whose technical secretariat is attached to the Presidency and has ministerial status — are: Misión Ternura (Tenderness Mission), for the comprehensive health care, nutrition and early stimulation of infants up to three years old, as well as birth control; Mis Mejores Años (My Best Years), for older adults, duplicating the bonus from US$50 to $100, besides providing medical care, educational and recreational activities and services for the elderly; Trabajo Joven (Youth Work), for the generation of new jobs and easy access to credit for young entrepreneurs; Menos Pobreza (Less Poverty), includes increasing the human development bonus from $50 to $150 provided to families in extreme poverty, and access to credit for family businesses; and Casa para Todos (Housing for All), which projects to provide 191,000 new homes free to families in poverty and extreme poverty, and 134,000 to low income families who will pay monthly installments of between $20 and $60.

The president confirmed that the central policies of the plan are set for the four years of his presidential term and said that his objective is to “to move towards a society of well-being for all by fighting extreme poverty, providing economic assistance to vulnerable groups, housing construction, and job creation.” —Latinamerica Press.


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President Lenín Moreno in his first meeting with Ecuadorian media. / Presidency of Ecuador
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