Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

PERSPECTIVE

Historian Joan Scott: 'Hardline secularism is as bad as hardline Islam'

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Shaking up the workplace: How employers face the challenge of automation

Read more

FOCUS

Even in Kenya, exiled Burundians fear for their lives

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Alibaba founder rolls back on pledge to create 1m US jobs

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Controversial or creative? Chef gets lobsters high before boiling them so they don't suffer

Read more

THE DEBATE

Breakthrough in Pyongyang? Kim promises to visit Seoul, dismantle nuclear sites

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Rapper I-NZ's 'This is Iraq': When music gets political

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'The Sisters Brothers' and 'Leave No Trace'

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Stormy Daniels's X-rated book attacks Trump's presidency - and manhood

Read more

Ecuador replaces finance minister amid economic woes

© AFP/File | Lenin Moreno blames his former ally and ex-president Rafael Correa for the country's excessive debt

QUITO (AFP) - 

Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno on Monday replaced the country's finance minister for the second time in as many months, amid economic woes that have prompted major cuts to the state apparatus.

The president, who on May 24 will have completed his first of four years in office, named business leader Richard Martinez as economy and finance minister, the ministry of communications said.

Martinez, an economist who since 2015 has led the Ecuadorean Business Committee, will replace Maria Elsa Viteri, who assumed the position early March.

"My goal and that of my team is to guarantee the sustainability of public finances and promote economic growth to generate jobs," Martinez said on Twitter.

The gradual reduction of Ecuador's state apparatus involves the elimination of 12 government departments, state enterprises, and 1,000 state jobs by 2021.

Moreno last month also announced tariff hikes in a bid to reduce Ecuador's fiscal deficit from a projected 5.64 percent of GDP this year to 2.47 percent in 2021.

Moreno blames his former ally and ex-president Rafael Correa for the country's excessive debt. Last February, the country's public debt -- which increased by 150 percent during Correa's 10 years in office -- stood at over $35 billion, according to the central bank.

© 2018 AFP