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LatinNews Daily - 03 July 2019

In brief: Costa Rica

* Costa Rica’s centre-left Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC) government led by President Carlos Alvarado has announced an agreement with the freight workers union, Unión de Transportistas de Cargas de Costa Rica. Under the agreement, the freight workers’ union will call off the blockades that it has been staging since last week, along with teachers, students and other sectors, over various demands, including the implementation on 1 July of a value-added tax (VAT) to replace the current sales tax as part of a fiscal reform. The agreement struck yesterday (2 July) sets out a 15-day deadline to establish a dialogue table and guarantees that administrative reprisals will not be taken against those who participated in the blockades. President Alvarado also announced the start of talks with teachers’ unions including Sindicato de Educadores Costarricenses (SEC), Asociación de Profesores de Segunda Enseñanza (APSE), and Asociación Nacional de Educadores (Ande) which have their own demands relating to working conditions and salaries.