FMLN Demands Transparency and a Sustainable Fiscal Policy for Debt
El Salvadors debt crisis has been getting much attention recently,with the rightwing ARENA party on a major campaign to sway public opinion infavor of more international loans despite the already precariously highlevel of indebtedness ARENA has burdened the Salvadoran people with. On March 15, the FMLN asserted its power in the Legislative Assemblywith a unified vote against a loan package of $297 million, stoppingthe IMF loan. The motion was applauded by majority of the Salvadoranpopulation according to public opinion surveys.
The FMLN has defended their position in a national Transparency Campaign to explain that the party supports development, but that it should be financed by taxing El Salvadors elite instead of burdening the poor with more loans. The party is also demanding that the ARENA government undergo audits of loans dating back to 1991, and that they use the funding that has already been approved for development, and that they return stolen state funds. Gerson Martinez, FMLN deputy in the Committee on Internal Revenue in the Assembly, said about the issue that, to this day they have not reintegrated a dime to the Public Treasury nor to the General budget of the nationwe could recuperate more than one billion dollars. There would be not need to further indebt the country.
ARENA has continued its attacks on the FMLN, calling the party anti-development; however, the FMLN maintains its position and is committed to voting against more loans until certain conditions have been met. Security Minister Rene Figueroa said this week that ARENA will continue with their media offensive against the FMLN so that they approve the loans.
Health Minister under investigation for corruption
While ARENA leaders insist on the need for more loans, its public officials are coming under investigation for corruption and mismanagement of international loans. Currently a high-profile case is targeting the Ministry of Health, led by Minister Guillermo Maza. In June 2003 the Legislative Assembly