“I don’t care if (the mayors) go to the prosecutor’s office”: The Finance Minister says they cannot force him to pay the late payments from Fodes
Zelaya says he is administering a loan with CABEI to transfer money to mayors, but the petition will be submitted to the new assembly taking over on May 1 and asking opposing mayors to wait.
Yesterday, Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya confirmed that they could not “force” him to pay the Foods that he owes to the mayors for more than nine months, and the majority is in the hands of the opposition until April 30th.
According to Zelaya, the decision of the Constitutional Chamber in the High Court of Justice did not order him to immediately pay for the presidency of the municipalities, but instead instructed him to take “steps” to cancel the debt.
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“The chamber’s decision is quite clear, stating: The minister ordered the implementation of steps within the limits of his powers that aim to pay the amount of Fodes, because they know that they cannot compel me to pay directly. It is not an order from the Constitutional Chamber,” the official said during a TV interview.
However, on February 4, the Chamber ordered the Minister of Finance to implement administrative and financial measures “immediately” so that the funds are paid to the mayors.
He also ordered him to make a transfer evaluation so that the delay in paying compulsory compliance would not be “repeated” because it is the law of the republic.
Mayors issued notifications to the Public Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the minister about his non-compliance with the Chamber’s decision, but Zelaya challenges these notifications. “They go to the prosecutor’s office, and I don’t care about the truth,” he said yesterday.
The Treasury Department has stopped transferring funds to 262 mayors since June 2020. As of January of this year, the debt stood at $ 360 million, as reported last month by the head of the Salvadoran Institute for Municipal Development (ISDEM), San Salvador’s mayor, Ernesto Moishundt.
Added to this debt is February’s down payment, which has also not been transferred and there are no signs of a soon repayment.
The president of the Salvadoran Municipal Corporation (Comores), Milagro Navas, has expressed hope that they will start paying off their debts as soon as the elections are over, but the finance minister has another plan. “(Mayors) have to wait for Foods to get approval in the council; I can’t pay it and run the risk of not paying off the external debt,” he said.
While the government keeps them waiting, they are venturing into various municipalities with resources and some mayors have declared that they will not be able to provide services such as garbage collection because they do not have the money to pay.
This is the case in municipalities such as Quezaltepeque, where outgoing mayor Salvador Saget considers the position of minister political, after gaining a majority in the February 28 elections.
“They believe that when the new mayor comes they will give him 12 months of Fodes and believe that they will come to solve everything and no, the mayors have fallen into debt;” he said, “It is unfortunate that a direct order of the Supreme Court is disobeyed.”
In San Antonio de la Cruz, Chalatenango, residents will not receive a waste collection service due to a shortage of Fodes.
Will attend the new assembly
The official added that he is seeking a loan from CABEI (Central American Economic Integration Bank) to pay the Fodes and that he will submit the proposal to the next assembly that will take place on May 1, when New Ideas will also take over the mayor that New Ideas won. Office. Headquarters. center.
He said, “I asked Cappy to help us with the funding so that we could transfer it, and they said yes and in time we will transfer it to the association.”
In the new assembly, the ruling party New Ideas would get the majority of seats and would be in favor of the Nayib Bukele government.
Administration of the loan contradicts CABEI which was confirmed by the Minister of Finance with what the Court of Accounts indicated that they had funds for Fodes.
Read also: San Antonio de la Cruz residents will not receive a waste collection service due to a lack of Fodes
“According to the data, in the preliminary financial analysis carried out by the audit team, we confirmed that there were funds to make the transfers,” said Roberto Anzora, head of the state audit bureau, last November.
Regarding what Zelaya said he would request a new loan to pay off Vodice, the former finance minister, Manuel Enrique Hendes, believes that the government must first provide the full accounts for each of the clauses. “They can’t be going out and saying, ‘Today I have it for Fodes and tomorrow they say they don’t have anything else. They should really say what the financial condition of the nation is.'”