Morales ‘buries’ Decree 20160 – an end to neoliberalism?

Posted on | juli 5, 2011 | No Comments

Evo Morales

President Morales chose the symbolic date of 1 May to announce the repeal of a number of laws which underpin Decree 20160, the controversial measure passed in 1985 that ushered in neoliberal economic reforms in Bolivia.

Speaking at the mining community of Huanuni (Oruro) on International Workers’ Day, Morales said a new decree would bring about the ‘complete elimination’ of 20160. Earlier during the build-up to the May Day celebrations, Morales said that by modifying laws on mining, forestry, labour, banks, investment and electricity, amongst others, he would ‘bury’ the market-based economic framework introduced over 25 years ago by President Víctor Paz Estenssoro.

Under the terms of the new decree (0861), a commission will be created to investigate where revisions could be made to such legislation. This will include representatives of the government, unions and other interested organisations. The repeal of Decree 21060 had been one of the key demands of labour union Central Obrera Boliviana during the recent strikes held throughout the country.

However, a number of analysts in Bolivia have questioned the extent to which the government will be able to transform the economy. José Luis Evia, a researcher at the Fundación Milenio, suggested that the market-based nature of today’s ‘globalised society’ meant that the abolition of Decree 20160 would be no more than a gesture.

AUTHOR: Bolivia Information Forum
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