North America

1000s of Paraguayan workers protest bill

331901_Paraguay-protest

Thousands of Paraguayan workers have taken to the streets in the capital to protest against a bill that aims to privatize some public services.

The rally took place on Monday in Asuncion, where protesters blocked roads and highways and carried signs that read “Paraguay is not for sale.”

Critics of the plans include public sector labor unions, farmers and indigenous, who say the bill would lead to mass privatization, layoffs and an invasion of foreign companies.

“We are against the public-private alliance, which is the selling of our dear Paraguay, the little that we are left with after everything that the rich took,” said protester Reina Hermosilla.

Another opponent is former president and senator Fernando Lugo who condemns it as an attempt to push through privatization.

“With the law everyone will pay the price and just a select few will get richer,” wrote Lugo on Twitter.

The bill was proposed by President Horacio Cartes and involves outsourcing some public services and infrastructure works to the private sector.

The country’s two legislative chambers have already approved the bill however debates are now being held whether to grant Cartes the power to make a final decision.

The Paraguayan government is facing a financial crisis as the country is suffering with the biggest deficit in its history.

Cartes, who was sworn in as president on August 15, has vowed to wage war on poverty and generating job opportunities in one of the poorest countries in South America.

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