Santiago Peña: “We have reduced taxes and increased collection”

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-What makes Paraguay’s tax system famous?

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-Paraguay has a very simple tax system. Corporate income tax, which is 10%, has VAT, which has a maximum rate of 10%, and it has personal income tax, but which is 100% deductible. If you consume 100% of your income, the rate is practically 0%. But the maximum rate is 10%. This is a reform that began in 2004, where taxes were at 30% and gradually decreased, and with it the collections increased. The well-known Laffer curve has been applied. We have reduced taxes and increased collections.

-What do you think about Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba?

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-I am the son of democracy in Paraguay. I was 10 when (the dictator, Alfredo) Stroessner left. I can only defend and be a voice against those who limit human rights, who do not allow fair and transparent elections.

I believe less in attributing titles to countries, but I raise my voice. Today I decided to re-establish relations with Venezuela, thinking of the Venezuelan people, who need to have access to food, medicines and which Paraguay can provide to the Venezuelan people (announced the reinstatement of the figure of ambassador in Caracas). And at the same time ask President Maduro to allow guarantees and human rights to be respected. The same goes for Cuba, Nicaragua and many Middle Eastern countries.

-How will you resolve the rift in the Colorado Party, sharpened by US drug trafficking and corruption complaints and sanctions against Horacio Cartes, your great political ally?

-The truth is that this appreciation is difficult to demonstrate and the party is more united than ever. The victory we had on April 30 was the largest in the history of the Colorado Party. I can give you the guarantee, the Colorado Party is more united than ever. And with respect to the president of the party, the former president of the Republic, these allegations he denied and is in the process of defending himself to demonstrate with facts that these allegations are groundless.

-There are analysts who assume that his link with Cartes, who has strong internal power, could lead to a double head like that suffered by Argentina or Bolivia.

-I started with the very important support of former president Horacio Cartes, I worked with him in his government. Based on that support, I’ve gone out to build a much larger support base. So, clearly today, my big challenge is how to govern and how to achieve that balance between the different political forces: the one that Cartes represents as president of the Party, the one that represents Mario Abdo as president of the Republic, and that of other political actors.

I have no doubts that over time I will be able to demonstrate that I have the technical knowledge and experience in the management of public affairs. It’s not a matter that worries me much, I think this strong dependence on Mr. Horacio Cartes has been part of a media construction.

Natasha Niebieskikwiat
Marcello Cantelmi

Source: Clarin

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