About 30,000 teachers and teachers from Costa Rica deposed this Friday, with empty hands, strike more durable in the central american country in more than a century. Educators have been the last to lay down the movement started last September 10 against the fiscal reform that the Government of Carlos Alvarado (center-left) managed to move forward on Tuesday, and promises to stabilize the battered public finances policies.

The three major trade unions of the guild of education —formed by more than 65,000 professionals— agreed to return to work after a rattling close of the school year in the public system, that comes to more than a million students. Hundreds of thousands of school children lost their classes in the last quarter, after the teachers have remained active in the movement. Other groups of teachers have returned to their work in the last month. Now, approved and in force the tax reform, they decide to return to the classroom just a week ahead of the Christmas holidays.


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Up to 50,000 state educators, according to the Government, they came to participate in the strike at its peak with the slogan of overthrow of a project of fiscal reform that increases tax burdens, and that sets limits on public spending —which happens to be anchored to economic growth—. Along with other professional organizations, teachers tried to knock down a project that considered “neoliberal”. The Government of Alvarado —tilt progressive, although formed by politicians of various ideologies, insisted at all times that it is indispensable to keep the social benefits in the country, including public education.

The association of secondary teachers (APSE), as the rest of the trade unions, prevented to recognize as failure of the strike called with a very clear objective: pull down the change in the tax system tico. “The decision is to lift the movement for rethinking the strategy of struggle Milanobet against this nefarious bill and against the new projects that are being developed against the working people and the most vulnerable sectors of costa rican society”, is limited to say the organization in a press release.

Satisfaction government

Carlos Alvarado (Partido Acción Ciudadana) governs, together with representatives of other parties are less prone to the power of the State and with the support of a group of deputies opponents who provided enough votes to pass the fiscal reform. Although they welcomed the entry into force of the tax reform —which provides for an increase in taxes and ceilings on public spending—, admit that it is insufficient because it only brings in the first year equivalent to 1.5% of GDP. That’s why, believe necessary deeper reforms in the laws governing the state workers —14% of the workforce— conditions of contract best, on average, than the private employees. The public sector unions announced a 2019 as conflicting to these months of 2018 elapsed since Alvarado took power in may.

The minister of Education, Edgar Mora, said he felt satisfied by the end of the strike, although he regretted the damage that this caused to the public education, whose importance “is perhaps the only national consensus in this country in the midst of discussions about the direction of the country”. A number not less of workers of ports, hospitals and energy also participated in the strike in its early stages, but gradually returned to their duties at the determination of Alvarado and his men to take forward the changes to tax and against the censorship of people against the pressure measurements collected by various surveys. Opinion polls also showed support scarce for the Government and his project, but Alvarado —who won the elections just nine months— compared his reform with a medicine unpleasant, but essential for the financial health of the country and to avoid a crisis as the beginning of the eighties.

With tax reform already in place, the risk country of Costa Rica has declined. The minister of Finance, Rocío Aguilar, aims, in this new environment, achieving financing in the best conditions to stabilize the debt —which already equates to 54% of GDP, a level that is high by the standards of the emerging world— and, more urgently, to meet the expenses of the close of the year. This year, the first week of December will end without that the Government will pay the christmas bonus to its workers —including teachers— something unheard of in many years. Although the State still has three weeks to comply with the payment of law, this Friday were not yet available resources.