President’s speech draws some praise

President Luis Guillermo Solís got some rare praise from a political opponent after the presidential state of the country speech Monday.

Antonio Álvarez Desanti, who now is the president of the Asamblea Legislative, cited programs that had benefited the country, including the way the Solís administration had handled the wave of thousands of Cuban migrants. He also cited efforts against narcotrafficking with the Ministro de Seguridad and the Comisión de Seguridad y Narcotráfico and certain social programs.

But he also said that the president’s grip on the country was indecisive.

The president was generous in his talk and noted that some recent projects had been the result of labor by previous administrations including that of Laura Chinchilla Miranda, who belongs to the same party as Álvarez, the Partido Liberación Nacional.

Solís outlined what he said were a number of achievements including a $420 million pending loan from the World Bank to pay for half of what the executive branch owes the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.

There was no doubt of the president’s main desire, more taxes. That was not a major part of the 12,800-word speech. He said that unless lawmakers approve more taxes, the national deficit would reach 8 percent by 2018.

He rejected what he said were draconian budget cuts.

Álvarez said later that the legislature would be open to collaborate on a tax proposal but said that the government budget has increased 10 percent when inflation was 1 percent and that there were concerns about the unclear finances of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, the management of the public banks and the financial demands of the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo.

This photo shows President Luis Guillermo Solís working on his state of the country speech, according to Casa Presidencial.

This photo shows President Luis Guillermo Solís working on his state of the country speech, according to Casa Presidencial.

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