Country’s biggest challenge is its finances, president affirms

A student from the Colegio Superior de Señoritas in San José holds aloft the Antorcha de Libertad that holds the flame carried from Guatemala City. The scene was in Parque Central Wednesday night. Photo: AM Costa Rica

All over Costa Rica Wednesday night crowds gathered in public to receive the torch of liberty and sing the national anthem.

Children showed off their homemade faroles, and more than one mother admitted to being up the night before to help put the finishing touches on the model street lanterns.

In Cartago, President Laura Chinchilla received the flame that had traveled from Guatemala City and said that the biggest challenge in this, the 190th year of the country’s independence, is finances. She called for sustainable public policies to keep the country on the path to development.

The country’s finances are such that half of the next national budget will be borrowed money. The president is trying to enact a handful of progressive tax measures.

She said that past administrations had committed little frauds with the budget. The country has to face this
challenge with realism and vision, she said.

Runners head to Cartago from San José (Left) President helped ignite flame (Right)

The president is likely to address the same theme in her Día de Independencia speeches. She has one at 11:45 in the Museo Nacional before the diplomatic corps accredited to the county. She also plans to watch the independence day parade at Parque Central at 8:30 a.m. Followed by the traditional and annual tribute at Parque Nacional at 10 a.m. where Ms. Chinchilla is expected to deliver the major speech of the day.

A late afternoon rain let up by 5 p.m. so that the independence day activities in San José were not hampered by the weather. Hundreds showed up at Parque Central where there were a series of speeches and the lighting of a caldron from the torch of liberty. From there teams of student runners took off for Cartago two hours away and other sections of the valley with the flame.

Among those running was a team from the national police school. All were escorted by traffic police, Fuerza Pública, Cruz Roja ambulances and drivers as well as fire trucks.

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