Yes, It DOES Happen! Crystal Ball Showing Images ... : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

State of Emergency and Bank Holidays in Ecuador

And it happens fast, catches unawares, look out, look out --

[ For Very Educational Purposes, also as a Warning ]

3/10/99 -- 1:58 AM QUITO, Ecuador (AP) - Armed with increased powers under a newly declared state of emergency, government troops prepared to protect Ecuador's vital industries from angry workers who have called a nationwide strike to protest economic reforms.

With the 48-hour strike that was to begin today likely to aggravate a deep economic crisis, President Jamil Mahuad on Tuesday declared a 60-day state of emergency that limits freedom of movement and assembly and gives him the authority to order strikers back to work.

Angry unions have threatened to disrupt production of oil, Ecuador's main export, if Mahuad does not back down on reforms that have caused prices to soar and a bill now in Congress that calls for deep public spending cuts.

Indian groups have blocked highways in northern Ecuador by digging trenches and dragging toppled trees across them, creating long traffic backups. Road traffic to Colombia has been blocked.

Influential members of the armed forces on Tuesday tried to calm this nation of 12 million people by denying there was discontent within the military over the crisis and offering to protect oil installations from strikers.

``The armed forces and the Ministry of Defense are coordinating efforts to protect public and private property and guarantee the circulation of transportation,'' Interior Minister Vladimiro Alvarez said.

Mahuad has extended through Thursday an emergency bank holiday that has shut banks since Monday to keep people from withdrawing their savings in anticipation of drastic economic reforms.

Monday was declared a surprise bank holiday after a run on deposits last week threatened Ecuador's tottering financial system.

Ecuador's currency, the sucre, lost a quarter of its value last week amid rumors the government planned to forcibly convert dollar bank accounts into sucres and doubts about Mahuad's ability to reform Ecuador's statist economy.

With banks and automatic teller machines closed for three days now, many people have no money to buy basic goods, leading to rising popular discontent.

Finance Minister Ana Lucia Armijos has said that the government will announce emergency economic measures Thursday.

Ecuador's tiny economy is in tatters after floods last year did $2.6 billion in damage and the price of its main export, oil, plummeted.

Economic growth has stagnated, inflation is running near 50 percent, that budget deficit reached $1.2 billion and state coffers are bare.

In September, Mahuad ended fuel subsidies, causing prices to soar.

``We have stopped working not because we support the strike or not, but simply because we cannot work. We're broke,'' said truck driver Guido Molina.

Strikers want Mahuad to reinstall the fuel subsidies, back down on budget cuts and fire his economic team.

Meanwhile, Ecuador's banking community called on the government to stick to the free market economic reforms.

``If it doesn't attack the fundamental problems, it would be a catastrophe,'' said Carlos Larreategui, president of Ecuador's Association of Private Banks.

Don't think for a moment it can't happen here ....

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-- Leska (, March 10, 1999


And you can see the dominoes starting to quiver. Doesn't take long ...

-- Ashton (, March 10, 1999.

LESKA!!! It is 12:30 AM!!!! GO TO BED!!!! Tomorrow is another day for Y2K!!!!! I guess I better hit the sack too!!! Good night!!!

-- Freddie the Freeloader (, March 10, 1999.

Doubt the above is Freddie :-)

-- Ashton (, March 10, 1999.


I'll go to bed then, Ashton & Leska. Something to do with this pounding international headache getting to me.


Diane *Another, even Bigger Sigh*

-- Diane J. Squire (, March 10, 1999.

Speaking of bank-runs, they've been having them in Thailand?/Taiwan? - whichever one has a Taipei in it. Saw this on CNBC Asia Asian Wall Street Journal a few nights ago.

-- Humptydumpty (, March 10, 1999.

(Tapei is in Taiwan)

Brazil, too...

-- pshannon (, March 10, 1999.

Does anybody know the historical average number of days of bank runs before a bank holiday is usually declared?

-- Ashton (, March 10, 1999.

All it takes is one day nationwide for people to empty banks. Got cash in small bills? There's a savings and loan in our town that didn't even have $5,000 cash to give out, they had to call another branch in a nearby city for cash!

-- bardou (, March 10, 1999.

P.S. It was the same bank that wouldn't let me cash a $350 check last week (See my previous thread "Get to Know Your Bank).

-- bardou (, March 10, 1999.

Leska; This is a very pertinent post. Please find and post more gems. Keep well. Thanks,

-- Watchful (, March 10, 1999.

Thanks, Watchful :-)
The most stunning article I've ever read re Y2K was a Breaking News one a few days ago which I saved but didn't copy the text fast enough. The text has to be copied immediately! It was so bad, it bumped me to an 8, maybe a 9; it was so bad it had the head DoD shaken. It was so bad it caused an immediate tragic death. The world scene has already been altered. News like that, one can't post unless one has proof, which evaporates too quickly with the hectic news cycles.

Bardou, that was some bank you had to deal with! Thanks for the testimony. We're realizing that it would only take one day of bank runs to instigate Money Holidays. We don't have much money; what's in the bank is enough to cover bills -- that's why, if it were inaccessible, it would be bad news! Can't get evicted in the perpetual rain. Timing, timing ... what to do ... this is a difficult one.

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-- Leska (, March 10, 1999.

Happening in Russia ... that thread "Man Tells Bank: 'My Money Or Your Life'" ...

... Rossiisky Kredit is one of many Russian banks which halted depositors' access to some of their accounts after last August's financial crisis. ...

Last August, and they still can't get their money ...

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-- Leska (, March 10, 1999.

That's certainly one way to look at denial and the reluctance to prepare. People refuse to acknowledge that it can ever hppen here.

Somewhere I read a quote along these line: "We owe civilisation to six inches of topsoil and the fact that it rains." We've pretty much forgotten this fact in US-EU-Japan.

-- Puddintame (, March 10, 1999.


Tuesday March 9, 7:47 pm Eastern Time

Strikers pledge darkness for parts of Ecuador

QUITO, March 9 (Reuters) - Unions promised on Tuesday to plunge parts of Ecuador into a short power blackout on Thursday as part of a two-day strike to protest the troubled Andean nation's economic austerity policies.

Ivan Narvez, head of the Patriotic Front union, said electrical workers at state-run Inecel will join the protest, which starts on Wednesday, causing a blackout in parts of the country at 1900 local/1900 EST Thursday or 0000 GMT Friday.

Narvez said that workers at state-run oil producer Petroecuador will begin their strike at 0000 local/0000 EST/0500 GMT Wednesday and remain at the oil company's facilities.

He declined to give more details of the strike at Ecuador's largest oil producer, saying he feared provoking a military reprisal.

``In the strategic (oil) operating area, we have resolved to undertake our actions without forewarning,'' said Narvez, who is also the head of a Petroecuador union.

``If we say publicly what we plan to do, we run the risk of having the military show up,'' he said.

If military forces do appear, ``workers will leave the areas, because these are high-risk areas where one shouldn't work next to guns,'' Narvez said.

Petroecuador has 4,700 workers and is the sixth largest producer and fourth largest exporter of crude oil in Latin America.

``We'll have the same strategy for the electrical sector,'' Narvez said.

He declined to answer whether the blackout would affect the whole country or only some cities.

Inecel employs 7,000 workers and produces more than 90 percent of the Andean nation's electrical power.

President Jamil Mahuad decreed Wednesday and Thursday bank holidays due to the strikes. These follow bank holidays on Monday and Tuesday to stop a run on Ecuador's banks.


How soon anarchy sweeps the land.....

-- helium (, March 10, 1999.

Good one, Helium

At least 19 injured, 97 arrested in Ecuador nationwide strike demonstrations

QUITO, Ecuador (March 10, 1999 9:28 p.m. EST
- Protesters blocked roads and police tossed tear gas at demonstrators in Ecuador's capital Wednesday, injuring 19 people on the first day of a nationwide strike over economic reforms.

Tear gas canisters struck and injured three protesters and 16 others suffered smoke inhalation in Quito as police repelled scores of protesters who marched to Congress, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

Police arrested 97 people during protests across Ecuador, Interior Minister Vladimiro Alvarez said Wednesday night.

He said that some strike leaders had met with government officials to find common ground for talks.

More than 1,000 protesters marched in Ecuador's major cities, with protesters burning tires and throwing stones at police in Guayaquil, Ecuador's main port city, 170 miles southwest of Quito.

In rural Ecuador, thousands of Indians blocked highways with rocks, trees and bonfires in an attempt to force President Jamil Mahuad to back down from economic reforms that have caused prices to soar.

It was the second national strike called by the leftist-led Unified Workers Federation, Ecuador's largest labor federation, since Mahuad took office seven months ago.

Most stores, factories and banks were closed, and Quito's streets were largely deserted as bus drivers heeded the strike call.

Backed by a 60-day state of emergency decreed by Mahuad on Tuesday, machine gun-toting troops guarded power plants and gasoline stations after strikers threatened to disrupt this poor Andean nation's oil and electricity supply.

Popular discontent was fed by the government's declaration of emergency banking holidays for Monday through Thursday after a run on deposits last week threatened Ecuador's tottering financial system.

"We're protesting because we can't live like this any more, with prices rising and rising. It's reached the point where we don't have anything to eat," said Quito housewife Marina Bustos.

Prices have soared in Ecuador since Mahuad ended fuel subsidies in September. Electricity prices have risen by 400 percent, and Ecuador's currency, the sucre, lost 25 percent of its value last week alone.

Unions have threatened to paralyze Ecuador if Mahuad does not back down on his reform program and a bill now in Congress that calls for deep public spending cuts.

Mahuad inherited a nation in economic tatters, battered by El Nino-driven floods that did $2.6 billion in damage in 1998 and falling prices of its main export, oil.

Ecuador had Latin America's highest inflation in 1998, at 45 percent, a trade deficit of $1.2 billion, and economic growth near zero. Its state coffers are almost bare.


-- Valium (, March 10, 1999.

For the full story on Ecuador here's a link to a bunch of breaking stories.. 000%3A50068174&update=2083

-- humpty (, March 11, 1999.

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