Wednesday, December 26th 2012 - 05:54 UTC

Ecuador’s Correa prepares for re-election: increases minimum salary 9%

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa announced a 9% increase in the minimum wage for private-sector workers for 2013, a move that may help consolidate his February re-election bid that polls broadly show him favoured to win.

Rafael Correa on the campaign trail

The populist Correa, who has won strong popular support for a range of measures including expanding access to health care and improving roads and highways, hiked the minimum wage to 318 dollars per month from 292 per month.

Correa wants the minimum wage eventually to reach a “dignified salary” of 368 dollars per month that would be on par with the cost of basic goods, including groceries, clothing and school fees.

He has gradually raised the minimum wage during almost six years in office and insists companies should not report profits while workers are not making enough to cover basic expenses.

Polls show Correa leading the Feb. 17 vote by as much as 30 percentage points over the nearest rival, although campaigning does not officially start until January and public opinion is famously volatile in Ecuador.

Ecuador together with Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and to a certain extent Argentina make up a regional block of populist regimes which implement strong intervention of the government in the economy and practice a certain degree of authoritarianism in political decisions.

The natural leader of the group is Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, but given his health condition, there is speculation that the charismatic Correa could fill his absence.

Ecuador adopted the dollar as its currency following a 1999 financial crisis.

12 comments Feed

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1 Gordo1 (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 08:45 am Report abuse
What a cynical plot to “buy” his re-election!
2 Anglotino (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 09:26 am Report abuse
Though pursuing similar policies, the biggest difference between Ecuador and Venezuela and Argentina is that Correa cannot manipulate the currency and hence has inflation of less than 5% compared to Venezuela's 18% and Argentina's 25%.
3 ChrisR (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 10:43 am Report abuse
Still a nutter on the world stage though.
4 Anglotino (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 11:37 am Report abuse
Yeah but too small and unimportant to be dangerous. He's not as shrill as some and doesn't ambush world leaders for photo ops.

He's quite welcome to Assange and I hear Assad Bashar might be afforded the same treatment. It would seem that you only have to hate the US to be considered left in Latin America.

But at least he is using Ecuador's growth to spread the wealth and much more sustainably than Venezuela or Argentina. Inflation is not destroying wealth and there is no devaluation on the horizon.
5 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 01:36 pm Report abuse
Vote shopping........I guess that is what south america calls democracy.....literally put money in the pockets of the masses.....the poor masses.
6 Britworker (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 10:09 pm Report abuse
Hmmm, lime green tracksuits? Are they in now in SA?
7 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 31st, 2012 - 12:57 pm Report abuse
Great policy, hope (and expect) he wins =)

“The natural leader of the group is Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, but given his health condition, there is speculation that the charismatic Correa could fill his absence”

Or Cristina =) I must say if Cristina is the world's most beautiful head of state, Correa is probably the handsomest =) Not that there necessarily will be an absence, and if Chavez departs Maduro seems an excellent successor
8 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 31st, 2012 - 03:19 pm Report abuse
If you ever do manage to make a contribution here that anyone takes serious, it is negated by your affliction with peoples looks.
9 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 31st, 2012 - 06:53 pm Report abuse
#8 Look at it this way, I'm never negative about anyones looks, never mean or call anyone “ugly”, but if they're very good looking I feel free to be positive =)
10 ChrisR (#) Jan 01st, 2013 - 11:00 am Report abuse
“Oct 6, 2010 ... Correa was in a hospital for hours after been gassed by the mutinous forces of the police and government who rioted regarding cuts in wages”

Miraculously when he got out of hospital he mananged to find an INCREASE for them!

I bet he thought his end had come.
11 ioroman (#) Jan 03rd, 2013 - 06:22 am Report abuse
Heading states a clear bias as Correa has not had an annual election, yet he has managed to increase the minimum wage every year. With a steady approval rate of around 75%, we Ecuadorians have the last word. Perhaps opposition candidates have a 75+% problem (quite a bit larger than Romney's 47%). Education reform, judicial system reform, improved and socialized health care, infrastructure improvements, etc, etc are some of the reason Correa will be re-elected.
12 British_Kirchnerist (#) Jan 04th, 2013 - 01:31 pm Report abuse
#11 Brilliant comment =)

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