The rector of the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo (UASD) stated yesterday that there is no current economic disequilibrium in the Dominican Republic to warrant the signing of such a severe accord as that which is being drawn up by the International Monetary Fund. “The external debt is being paid like never before,” said Garcia Fernandez, according to Hoy newspaper, and he exhorted the authorities to act prudently before engaging in any definitive agreement, saying, “This situation is different from what happened in Argentina.”
He maintained that the DR’s economy will close the year with a rosier outlook than was expected, owing to a greater stability in the exchange market and reduced interest rates, which in turn would stimulate a drop in the cost of money. While he noted that the success of the DR’s economy would rely heavily on external factors, he also underlined the fact that 2004 was a good year for exports and also generated a surplus in the balance of payments, which assisted the growth seen in tourism and international remittances.
While the rector recognized that economic and monetary stability is essential and that the crisis was not over, Garcia Fernandez warned that the government must be aware of the consequences the IMF accord will entail, such as overblown taxation. To disregard these consequences “would be to undermine the social peace.”