Offbeat Guatemala. The budget project suspended in the face of the people's anger

23:15  23 november  2020
23:15  23 november  2020 Source:   ouest-france.fr

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Public anger targets President Alejandro Giammattei over cuts to education and health.

A contentious budget bill pushed thousands into the streets to demand an end to corruption, among other grievances. Baby orangutan born in Indonesia boosts numbers of the endangered species. Newsflare 1:50. Easy tricks to preventing food waste in your fridge.

Les manifestants rejettent le budget 2021. © AFP The demonstrators reject the 2021 budget.

Faced with the growing protest of the poorest, the authorities had to give up a sharply increasing budget ... in favor of interest private.

The fire started by a handful of demonstrators, , which ravaged Parliament in the capital on Saturday, November 21, is the symbol of the political fire that is eating away at Guatemala . For several days, thousands of demonstrators have called for the departure of conservative President Alejandro Giammattei , who came to power in January. The adoption of the 2021 budget by the deputies on Wednesday, November 18 at dawn, set fire to the powders in the small state of Central America.

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Hundreds of people have broken into congress in Guatemala and burned part of the building amid growing protests in the Central American country. Referring to the anger over the budget , student Mauricio Ramirez said: "I feel like the future is being stolen from us. We don't see any changes, this

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“Opaque and anti-democratic” practices

For the demonstrators, this budget of 10.5 billion euros, the largest ever voted, forgets the majority of the 17 million Guatemalans who, in addition to the Covid pandemic (4,092 dead ), suffered two hurricanes in November. No additional money for education, the fight against undernutrition or any other social measure, while 30% of the population is in a situation of extreme poverty, according to the UN. The increase in the budget, largely financed by debt, will be used to build infrastructure in the hands of private companies.

The Central American Institute of Fiscal Studies in a report denounced a budget that offers ample room for corruption and that was approved after opaque and undemocratic practices. A single parliamentary session was organized with a vote in stride. According to the opposition, MPs could not even read the final text before the vote.

Faced with growing protest, Parliament finally backed down on Monday 23 November: the draft budget is suspended. Alejandro Giammattei, on the other hand, continues to hold on to his chair as President. He still refuses to resign, even after his own vice-president, Guillermo Castillo, offered to step aside together.

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