President picks successor to former finance minister

President Laura Chinchilla has named career economist Edgar Ayales as the new finance minister or minister of Hacienda. He replaces Fernando Herrero, who quit after La Nación revealed that he paid less taxes than he should have.

Ayales is a graduate of the University of Kent in England. His undergraduate degree is from the Universidad de Costa Rica. He has helped draft many of the country’s tax laws, said Casa Presidencial.

Ayales is out of the country now consulting with the Central Bank of Angola. He has been a consultant to the Banco Central here and has worked with the International Monetary Fund. He also has been executive director of the Interamerican Development Bank.

The new minister inherits a government with its finances in disarray because the Sala IV constitutional court has delivered a setback to plans to implement a 14 percent value-added tax. The president declined to comment on that Tuesday and Casa Presidencial said the administration is waiting to read the written decision from the magistrates before refining a strategy.

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