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    Ecuador's President Rafael Correa has long opposed the use of the dollar. | Photo: Reuters

Published 17 December 2014

President Rafael Correa says the U.S. dollar is the “exact opposite” of what Ecuador needs.

Ecuador’s use of the U.S. dollar is hurting the country’s economic growth, President Rafael Correa warned Monday.

“Dollarization was a bad decision,” Correa said.

The president said that in the face of low oil prices, Ecuador would benefit from control of its own currency.

Ecuador is the smallest member of OPEC. Under Correa, the Ecuadorean government has increasingly invested oil revenues in social services and economic development.

However, with oil prices slumping, Correa says Ecuador needs a flexible currency now more than ever. He argued that by using the dollar, Ecuador is “doing exactly the opposite of what (it) must do to address the looming scenario.”

“In these difficult times we will see just how important it is to have a national currency,” he added.

Ecuador adopted the U.S. dollar in 2000 after the value of its former currency nosedived in 1999.

Correa has long warned the continued use of the dollar is holding back the economy, once describing it as a “straight jacket.”

In July, Ecuadorean legislators approved a law paving the way for the use of a parallel electronic currency for domestic use.

More Ecuador news:

Ecuador Comes Out on Top in Commercial Agreement With EU

Ecuadorean and Colombian Relations 'Best They Have Been'

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