Port-au-Prince, Oct 10 (Prensa Latina) The Haitian government today described the country’s economic situation as ‘catastrophic’ and suggested that this was linked to the strong protest movements of recent months.

The newly appointed interim Finance Minister, Jouthe Joseph, told Radio Caraïbes that the precariousness in which many citizens live is morally unacceptable and is what causes them to demonstrate in the streets.

However, he considered that the legitimate mobilizations have resulted in harmful economic stagnation, with the paralysis of revenue collecting institutions such as Customs and the Directorate General of Taxes, but stressed that the government is trying to overcome this precarious situation.

In the last month, anti-government protests were radicalized, calling for the immediate resignation of President Jovenel Moïse, also implicated in an alleged case of embezzlement of public funds, according to a report by the High Court of Accounts.

Demonstrators also criticize the country’s low economic and social development, as well as poor access to services such as health and education, and an unemployment rate that extends to 70 percent of the population.

As if that weren’t enough, on October 1, Haiti opened a new fiscal year without an approved national budget, for the second consecutive occassion, this it is operating according to the 2017-2018 budget, which does not meet the country’s needs, analysts warn.

Despite the complex financial situation, and the impact of protests on sectors such as agriculture, education, trade and others, President Jovenel Moïse recently repeated that he would not resign.