Government reviews gas and gasoline subsidies, Businesses may sue for tram damages, Internet outages, Moreno pushes disability rights

Jul 26, 2018

Chamber of Commerce may sue for tram damages

The Cuenca Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday that it will assist business owners who want  to sue the city of Cuenca for damages suffered from tram construction. According to chamber president Jaime Moreno, more than 200 businesses have closed during the five-year construction period and that financial damages continue to mount for businesses still struggling to survive. Hardest-hit have been owners in the historic district and on Avs. Las Americas and España, he says. “We are aware that sacrifices must be made to advance public works, such as the tram, but the impact of this project has exceeded all reasonable limits.”

The cost of gasoline is subsidized in Ecuador.

Government subsidies to be reviewed

Ecuador Finance Minister Richard Martinez says government subsidies, especially those for gas and gasoline, are costing the country billions of dollars and need to be revised. He says his office is beginning a review of all subsidies with an aim of making them available for only the poorest citizens. “These were not intended to provide savings to the upper and middle classes of the population but to help those who truly need assistance,” he said. Ecuador’s prices for LP gas and gasoline are among the lowest in the world based on subsidies, according to a recent UN survey.

Moreno urges greater support for the disabled

President Lenin Moreno

In his keynote address at the Global Summit on Disabilities Tuesday in London, President Lenin Moreno urged world governments to increase efforts to improve the lives of disabled citizens. He also said that authorities should quit considering disability as a “medical pathology” but accept it as a fact of “mainstream” life. “Despite the official conversation, people with disabilities continue to face physical and psychological barriers and, in some countries, they continue to be abandoned,” he said. “While we have largely overcome the stigma of disability, discrimination continues in many sectors of our culture.” He continued: “Together, we must not tolerate neglect and must work for the inclusion of those who have, for too long, suffered the fate of forgotten citizens.”

ETAPA reconfigures 1,800 internet modems

As of Wednesday afternoon, Cuenca city utility ETAPA has re-coded more than 1,800 modems of internet customers. The re-coding is required for the restoration of internet service following last week’s hacks to the system. ETAPA general manager Boris Piedra says that customers suffering internet outages should bring their modems to an ETAPA office for the reconfiguration. “Because of the scope of the problem, we are not able to do this remotely,” he said. About five percent of ETAPA internet customers have suffered service interruptions during the past eight days, says Piedra, who adds that attacks on the system have stopped.

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