The annual monitoring mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently concluded its nearly two-week visit to Montevideo, providing a positive assessment of Uruguay's economy and the government's reform efforts. However, the mission also gauged the pulse of Uruguay's political landscape ahead of the 2024 elections, weekly newspaper Búsqueda informed.
Led by Spanish economist Pau Rabanal, the delegation returned to Washington D.C. on Friday, having held routine meetings with top economic officials, as well as less common gatherings with potential presidential candidates from various political parties. Notably, the IMF held individual dialogues with two prominent Frente Amplio mayors, Carolina Cosse and Yamandú Orsi, as well as the Secretary of the Presidency and eventual presidential candidate for the National Party, Álvaro Delgado, according to sources from the political and financial systems.
While the discussions touched on the current state of affairs, IMF technical experts also posed questions related to future prospects, projections, and political evaluations, sources told Búsqueda.
The delegation also met with Robert Silva, the head of the National Administration of Public Education, who is spearheading an educational transformation and is seen by some Colorados leaders as a possible candidate for their party in 2024. In this case, the IMF sought to understand the content of this plan given its structural relevance to Uruguay.
Another meeting was held with Rodolfo Saldain, the main technical referent of the pension reform that the ruling party initiated this week in the Chamber of Deputies for voting after agreeing to adjustments to the text.
This visit was part of the annual monitoring to which member countries of the IMF are subjected. The technical staff prepared a complimentary report on the economic management being carried out by the multicolored ruling party while also providing several recommendations. In a few weeks, based on that technical staff report, the IMF's Executive Board will complete its review.
Uruguay was also lauded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) during its Annual Assembly last week in Panama, particularly for the environmental targets-linked bond issued last year. The IDB sees Uruguay as a leader in environmental matters and a model for the world based on this and other actions.
At the IDB governors' meeting, Economy Minister Azucena Arbeleche stated that Uruguay is committed to having an environmental stamp and the concept of being deforestation-free.
Social unrest against pension reforms
On Thursday, unions and other groups did stage nationwide strikes to protest against President Luis Lacalle Pou's initiative to make adjustments to the pension system and increase the retirement age despite his campaign promises otherwise.
Some groups, such as the Trade Union Association of Transport Cooperatives and Workers (Ascot) held all activity for 24 hours while others will stage shorter work freezes.