Government officials and COB union leaders met today and discussed mainly on how to handle the dismissal of Supreme Decree 21060. Which was the one implemented to stop hyperinflation in the mid 80s, after UDP populist government had to cut short its term. This decree sets out the ground rules for open market economy, which this government despises but has not been able to null it in almost five years of government. This government named itself as being “socialist, marxist, leninist and indigenous” in nature; and now the unions are demanding a major public economy role.
We have to remember that 32% of current labor force is public financed, the rest is private mainly under informal economy and getting rid of this decree will not be an easy task.
Tomorrow Sunday, meeting will continue. So far, the president did not participate in the meetings. Unions are waiting to see what will happen tomorrow, the hottest issue being the salary increase over the original offer of 10%. Threats remain in the air (hunger strikes, street and road blockades) if such increase is not approved. In the meantime, regular citizens stay in the dark… will I be able to send my kids to school? can I get medical attention if I get sick? will my company be able to honor its contracts on time? are a few questions that most of us ask ourselves…
On another note, Governor Ruben Costas left the clinic as his medics gave him the release. Governor will give a press conference next week to initiate discussions on how to handle current crime rates in beautiful Santa Cruz de la Sierra.