Evo Morales Explains Repeal of Fuel Price Hike
Source: Prensa Latina, 02 Jan 2011.
The Bolivian people were not ready for the consequences of fuel price hikes implemented to bring them up to the same level as in neighboring countries, President Evo Morales said on Monday. In his explanation of why he had repealed the Dec. 26 fuel price decree aimed at ending fuel smuggling, the president stated that the people welcomed the move as being in defense of the poorest families.
At a press conference in Cochabamba, Morales stated he heard and submitted to the people as he promised when assuming the presidency of Bolivia. On Friday, Morales announced the revocation of the decree established five days earlier, which involved the removal of state subsidies for fuel and increases in prices, to bring them up to the same level as the rest of the region and stop the bleeding of the Bolivian economy.
Fuel subsidies rose from USD $108 million in 2005 to USD $660 million in 2010. Of that amount, USD $380 million was subidized and USD $150 million in fuel was smuggled out of the country.