SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA
Monetary reforms demanded by international financial institutions have provoked considerable controversy among Costa Rica's political leaders.
SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA
1. GV National Assembly building. 0.05
2. GV Troops on guard (Guardia Civil). 0.08
3. GV INTERIOR Assembly in session with empty delegates' seats. (2 SHOTS) 0.31
4. GV PULL BACK EXTERIOR Banco Central building. 0.37
5. CU/SVs Money changers, outdoor stalls. (4 SHOTS) 0.54
6. GV Street scenes, surrounding mountains. 1.01
7. GV, TV Demonstrators, band playing, bannefs in favour of new monetary laws. (4 SHOTS) 1.36
8. SCU President Luis Alberto Monge, speaking. (SOT) 2.01
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Background: SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA
Monetary reforms demanded by international financial institutions have provoked considerable controversy among Costa Rica's political leaders. In recent months, the National Parliament has been unable to adopt new legislation proposed by President Luis Alberto Monge under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. The agencies have announced that all further aid will be blocked if Parliament fails to ratify the reforms within the next few weeks. In an attempt to pressure parliamentary delegates, Monge authorised a demonstration on August 14 in favour of the new laws - a demonstration which failed to attract many people. Inside the National Assembly building, legislators continued to debate the reforms, but many delegates refused to attend the session and a members' quorum not reached.
On August 11, President Monge asked for, and received, the resignations of his entire Cabinet, heads of public institutions and all ambassadors. The drastic move was designed to forestall rumours of an impending coup and to stifle frequent public dissention. Costa Rica's present financial crisis echoes that of virtually all other Latin America countries; it remains to be seen whether President Monge's attempts at monetary reform will satisfy the demands being made by international banking agencies.
Source: TONY AVIRGIN/NATIONAL TELEVISION OF COSTA RICA