San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Pacheco Predicts Dark Days Ahead

One might expect an outgoing President to paint a rosy picture of his country’s future – but not Abel Pacheco, who this week predicted difficult times and perhaps even World War III.

At the press conference following his weekly Cabinet meeting Tuesday, reporters asked Pacheco how he feels to be leaving office. During his detailed reply, the President said, “This country is marvelous – we have to keep it (that way), because the coming times are terrible. It smells of war.World war.”

He added that oil-related conflicts and increasing hunger fuel his concerns. “I look toward the future of Costa Rica with many worries,” he said. “I look with anguish toward how don Oscar (Arias, the President-elect) is going to manage.”

As throughout this administration, he criticized the failure of the Legislative Assembly to approve reforms to the tax system, saying, “A country where the rich don’t pay taxes is a country without a future.”

However, he added that if incoming leaders take a careful look at the way the government works and redefine the powers that correspond to each branch to reduce inefficiency, “there’s no reason that Costa Rica must continue in poverty.”

Arias is scheduled to replace Pacheco as President May 8.


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