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Normality restored on the border between Costa Rica and Panama following three days of blockade

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  • Sat, 10/06/2018 - 22:13
Frontera Panamá Costa Rica
  • EFE

Normality has been restored to Paso Canoas, border area between Costa Rica and Panama that houses a neuralgic customs post, after three days of blockades by Costa Rican protesters in rejection of a tax reform in the country.

On a tour this Saturday, Efe verified the normal transit of cargo trucks and people through customs, from which goods are exported to Costa Rica and the rest of Central America, as well as the presence of street vendors and open shops.

Local people showed concern through comments in the street, since the blockades have generated economic losses not only to large companies when their trucks were stranded on both sides of the border, but also to people who make a living with the products sold daily in Paso Canoas.

"Every border blockade represents millions of losses," a Panamanian Customs official told reporters on Friday when asked about the economic impact of the blockades.

The Costa Rican protesters had announced that this Saturday they would return to demonstrate in the place, but at the last minute decided to postpone the actions until next Monday.

The protests of recent days were held without serious incidents on the border line, under the eyes of the Costa Rican and Panamanian police.

The protesters reject the fiscal reform promoted by the Government of the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, with the aim of alleviating the country's growing fiscal deficit, which closed at 6.2 percent in 2017 and is estimated at least 7.1 percent this year.

On Saturday, a national union strike against the reform entered its 27th day, during which many street demonstrations have been staged in Costa Rica, which in most cases were peaceful.

The Costa Rican Congress approved the controversial tax reform on Friday in the first of two votes, which the unions reject on the grounds that it will affect more the lower and middle classes, while gently treating the rich and the companies.

The Government denies those extremes and ensures that 80 percent of the tax revenue collected by the tax reform will be paid by the 20 percent of households with higher incomes and businesses, which will reduce inequality.

EFE

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