President Rafael Correa said Thursday that it would be “catastrophic” for Ecuador to abandon the U.S. dollar any time soon, and that it would remain the official currency as long as he is in office.
In the past, Correa has called the dollar a “fiscal strait-jacket” but has also said the dollar has been a stabilizing force since the country suffered the worst financial crisis in its history in 1999 and 2000. “Someday, we will need to move to our own currency but this must be done with great care and only after careful planning,” he said.
He accused political opponents of spreading rumors that a change of currency is imminent. “These are the same people leading the marches in Guayaquil and Quito,” he said. “Their interest is to overthrow the government not in protecting the interests of the people.”
He added that the government’s new electronic money plan is not a conspiracy to abandon the dollar. “Again, this is being misrepresented. In terms of the overall economy, this is a very small program intended to help people who do not have bank accounts.”