July 4th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) As public outcry over recent price hikes in the cost of fuel and electricity grows, President Solís and Minister of the Presidency, Melvin Jimenez are pleading for time from an agitated public.
Jimenez admitted that promises made by President Solís during his presidential campaign to lower prices would take longer than expected to materialize, as the new government has only now realized that pricing is not under its control.
“We are now realizing that [fuel and electric prices] are not under our control. We are calling on the relevant authorities to clarify the methodologies and elements involved,” Jimenez said.
President Solís had said during his campaign that one of his first acts as president would be to lower the cost of electricity.
“Obviously, it’s not the same being president as it is to be an aspiring president or president-elect,” Solís told reporters yesterday when reminded of his campaign promise during a visit to Aserrí.
Solís now says the only solution to the problem is through “dialogue,” and that regulator ARESEP, not the Executive, determines prices of public services.
Solís also said yesterday that taxes on fuel – which comprise a significant percentage of its price – are immoveable, and other solutions need to be sought instead, suggesting the country could turn to Petrocaribe and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of America (ALBA) for cheaper fuel.
Juan Luis Jimenez of the National Liberation Party said that the Presidency’s words prove that “they were not prepared to govern.”