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Bolivia's Evo Morales_March 2011

According to jaime pérez of fundación jubileo a

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According to Jaime Pérez of Fundación Jubileo, a think-tank, the government went into the red in 2009. The government itself forecasts a fiscal deficit of around $870m (4.2% of GDP) this year, high by regional standards. Another sign of trouble is inflation, which has surged to 8.4% over the 12 months to January. Food prices have shot up, and there is a shortage of sugar and other staples. Higher world prices are partly to blame. So are drought and wildfires last year which hurt crops. Flooding this year, which killed 39 people, has caused further disruption to food supplies. But government policies have made matters worse. As prices rose in 2008 the government intervened to curb farm exports and imposed price controls. The result was that farmers planted less. Huge queues have formed at state food-distribution centres. Some of those centres closed when they ran out of supplies or their staff feared violence. Journalists found food stockpiled at the homes of several government officials and leaders of Mr Morales’s Movement to Socialism (MAS) party. Although the fuel-price rise was withdrawn, it prompted other price rises across the economy, many of which have not been reversed. Bus owner-drivers in particular are feeling the pinch.
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