By James Blears
Street protesters have thrown rocks, hurled Molotov Cocktails and set tires plus other objects ablaze, venting their anger at Riot Police, who`ve responded with tear gas rounds and armored car patrols. Ecuador`s President Lenin Moreno has declared a National State of Emergency, saying he must do this to prevent chaos gripping the Country and to restore calm and with it order.
Fury erupted after he ended forty years of fuel subsidies saying Ecuador simply can no longer afford them, as it`s costing the equivalent of 1.3 billion dollars each and every year.
The shock of an inevitable huge surge increase in gasoline and diesel prices, firstly shocked and then inflamed many who are now protesting...demanding that he immediately rescind his decision and go back to the old ways.
However the Government says it`s now time for Ecuador to economically tighten its belt, as part of its side of a bargin, involving a substantial loan from the International Monetary Fund- the IMF, amounting to 4.2 billion dollars, to shore up its faltering economy. Ecuador has just announced it`s leaving OPEC, in order to be able to boost its petroleum production.