President Lenin Moreno said Friday that the government’s intention to end the subsidy for gasoline and diesel fuel is alive and well and will be considered again early next year. It was Moreno’s first announcement that the subsidy would end that sparked nationwide protests in October that ultimately forced him to rescind the order.
“We will approach the issue differently this time but I still believe ending subsidies is the correct path for the country,” Moreno said during an interview with the Ecuadorian Broadcasting Association (AER). The major difference from the October plan, the president said, is that the impact of higher fuel prices will be studied to make certain that the most vulnerable segments of the population will not suffer as a result.
“We will talk to residents in poor rural communities, including those in indigenous communities, regarding implementation of the plan,” Moreno said. “Nothing will be done until all studies are complete and we are convinced that poor Ecuadorians are not harmed.”
He added that others affected by an end to fuel subsidies, such as transport workers, will also be included in the study.
Moreno said that the studies will be conducted in February, March and April with a final decision coming shortly afterward.