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Lacalle Pou ruled out a rise in taxes and said he faced very high pressure to impose

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Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou announced on Thursday a two-month cut in retirement and salaries for public officials to create a fund to cover expenses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou announced on Thursday a two-month cut in retirement and salaries for public officials to create a fund to cover expenses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The President of Uruguay, Luis Lacalle Pou, in recent hours, he ruled out the possibility that his government would promote a tax increase and warned that such a measure would cause a contraction in the economy of his country. In turn, the head of state revealed that he suffered a "strong pressure”On the part of sectors of the opposition and their own party to impose a compulsory quarantine on the population to face the coronavirus pandemic.

"It is impossible to think of a tax increase", said Lacalle Pou when asked about a possible rise in levies, in an interview on the show Watchword, of Channel 4. The president also justified the reduction in half of discounts on purchases with credit cards, arguing that this is a measure that tends to guarantee collection, but not a new tribute. "If the government does not take action, it will not raise", he pointed.

Lacalle Pou He also stressed that the measures taken by his administration were aimed at "revive the economy. Reward the one who puts a peso, two pesos, a million pesos, who hires people. We are convinced that in addition to setting wages we have to go to a stimulus for the generation of jobs"Meanwhile, he warned that the deficit will increase:"It will go up, yes. The savings of US $ 900 million ... we have already spent US $ 400, more than resignations US $ 150, plus US $ 80. And it will continue. We had to open the tap for thousands of Uruguayans without any problem. So the saving of the US $ 900 million went into the background"

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"The idea is to prioritize employment. We are looking at the mechanisms to generate that greater boost to employment. So far, the matrix (which sets the tax benefits) as it has worked, has not been very satisfactory. So we are in a review process

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"The president indicated in statements made to the journalist Ignacio Álvarez.

Meanwhile, he also made reference to the determination not to impose a mandatory quarantine on the population, despite the resistance of the opposition Broad Front and members of its own coalition. "There was strong pressure, understandable and understandable, and I had it from very close and obviously suitable people asking for a mandatory quarantine"Replied the president, who also alluded to the former president Tabaré Vázquez who also called for a forced closure of national activities. "I felt i was wrong"Stressed Lacalle Pou. On that subject, he concluded without controversy: "It's hard for me to put myself in those days and say: "they should have foreseen it." It is hard for me to understand if the alarms were enough to think that what ended up happening could happen in Uruguay"

The Uruguayan quarantine

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Uruguay decided to take a different position than the rest of the Latin American countries in the fight against the coronavirus. The government of Luis Lacalle Pou opted for a careful strategy, focused on making fine tuning between health and economy. So, avoided mandatory quarantine and appealed to the responsibility of the population. This strategy has so far been successful: contagions - with 734 confirmed cases and 20 fatalities - were contained and economic indicators are suffering less severe falls compared to neighboring countries.

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The first four confirmed cases of coronavirus were known in the country on Tuesday, March 13. The same day the government declared a health emergency and announced the first measures: classes, mass events, non-essential activities were suspended and border closures were ordered. At the same time, the Executive launched the "Operation All at Home", to repatriate Uruguayans who were stranded abroad in the midst of the pandemic.

On the other hand, the government avoided issuing a mandatory quarantine, as the opposition of the leftist Broad Front had been asking for. Instead of that measure, appealed to the responsibility of citizens, recommending limiting exits to the street. Thus, allowed work activity to continue.

"For us the freedom of the individual is very important, the President never wanted to take a measure that did not take into account that fundamental aspect that is our philosophy of life"he explained to Infobae the vice president of Uruguay Beatriz Argimon. "We feel very comfortable with a message that commits us because we know that freedom has the care of the rest of society as a limit."

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How Uruguay managed to control the coronavirus without mandatory quarantine

Beatriz Argimón, Vice President of Uruguay: "Lacalle Pou would never take a measure against the coronavirus that did not take into account the freedom of the individual"

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