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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Caribbean & Central America - 03 January 2018

In brief: El Salvador

El Salvador: The president of El Salvador’s unicameral legislative assembly, Guillermo Gallegos, has called on deputies from all political parties to “urgently” approve a 2018 draft national budget. The government led by President Salvador Sánchez Cerén presented its proposed 2018 national budget worth US$5.52bn to the legislative assembly back in September 2017. But the legislature failed to approve a draft budget before the end of 2017, as required by law, amid the refusal by the political opposition to back the government’s proposal, which it considered to be too high. Consequently, Gallegos called for an extraordinary legislative session to be held on 3 January to debate the draft budget. Noting that failure to approve a 2018 budget could lead the government to fall in to default on its outstanding debts, Gallegos called on deputies from all parties to approve a budget as quickly as possible, and prevent its debate from being affected by political considerations ahead of the 4 March legislative and municipal elections.