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Weekly Report - 07 February 2019 (WR-19-05)

NICARAGUA: Fresh outcry over new economic measures

“An economic coup by the State.” This is the assessment of José Adán Aguerri, the president of Nicaragua’s private sector lobby Cosep, in response to changes to the social security system (INSS) passed by President Daniel Ortega as well as proposed tax reforms. It was the INSS reforms which first sparked the April 2018 protests which have since spiralled into demands for Ortega to step down, unleashing a government crackdown on opponents which has left over 500 dead. With the economy in freefall due to the crisis (the most recent monthly economic activity figures [IMAE] from the central bank put year-on-year growth for November 2018 at -5.1%), the private sector is warning that these changes will exacerbate the crisis further.

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