Fiscal crisis stalemate continues
The stalemate between El Salvador's majority political parties over resolution of the government's fiscal crisis continues. The government lacks the cash to pay its bills and needs the approval of the National Assembly to issue bonds to borrow the needed funds on international markets. The FMLN government, however, needs the concurrence of the conservative ARENA opposition to obtain the required votes in the legislature.
Yesterday saw protests blocking various thoroughfares in the country, as local mayors protested the government's delay of transfer payments to the municipalities. Those payments, which go by the acronym FODES, are the major revenue source for local governments.
US Ambassador Jean Manes to El Salvador sent out a tweet from her account calling it "disappointing" that the parties had not been able to come to an accord and saying perhaps it was time to put everyone together into a room and not leave until there is white smoke.
President Salvador Sánchez Cerén called for the leaders of the country's major political parties into a meeting with him this morning with the goal of having an agreement to submit to the National Assembly by Thursday.
The ongoing fiscal crisis led bond rating agency Moody's to lower its rating on El Salvador's debt, which will increase the cost of borrowing for El Salvador when the politicians eventually do reach agreement to issue bonds and resolve the crisis.