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Chile: Government meets unions to find a way out of crisis


The Chilean government met on November 28 for the first time with the unions to try to find a way out of the serious social crisis.

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Protesters against the government in Santiago de Chile, November 28, 2019. REUTERS / Ivan Alvarado

The Chilean government met on November 28 for the first time with the unions to try to find a way out of the serious social crisis.

For the first time since the outbreak of the crisis , on 18 October, members of the government of conservative President Sebastian Piñera met with representatives of the "Platform of Social Unity", a collective of social and trade union organizations origin of many calls to protest.

Among the members of the collective include the Central Unitary Workers (CUT), the most powerful union in the country, the professional organization of teachers or the collective "No + AFP" which calls for the end of the pension system privatized Chilean, a major demand of the protesters.

" We have made it very clear that we are not prepared to negotiate in the backs of people, that it is not our state of mind, that it is they (the government) who must now provide answers to the proposals that were made, "said Mario Aguilar, president of the College of Teachers, after the meeting.

"Social Agenda" and feverish markets

While the government has already announced in October a battery of social measures to try to end the crisis, trade unions and many demonstrators are asking the government to go further, including a 50% increase in the minimum wage and the replacement of the pension system by individual capitalization, by a pay-as-you-go system.

Interior Minister Gonzalo Blumel, who is the government's number one, welcomed the parties ' agreement to launch a dialogue on priority issues on the social agenda ', such as salaries, access to quality health services, and pensions.

Faced with the powerlessness to control the crisis, the markets were feverish. The Chilean currency had a new record on Thursday. Since the outbreak of the crisis, the currency has depreciated by about 15%. In an attempt to stem the drop, the central bank announced the injection of 20 billion into the economy by the end of May, after a first intervention ($ 4 billion) in mid-November on the foreign exchange market.

" Excessive use of force "

At the same time, Parliament is debating several bills introduced by the government to reinforce law enforcement, such as an anti-riot law and another allowing the military to protect public infrastructure without the need to declare state of affairs. emergency.

And as more and more voices rise to denounce the violence and repression carried out by the police in Chile. Since the beginning of the protest movement, 23 people have lost their lives and more than 2,000 others have been injured, some with irreversible consequences. The UN, but also Amnesty International, denounced the excessive use of force. A drift that was already known by the Chilean political class.

Today, what we are seeing is the generalization of situations that already existed. There are reports from the National Institute of Human Rights or the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that over the last 20 years there has been excessive use of force, particularly against the people. Mapuche in the south of the country.

Lucia Dammert

Chilean sociologist, citizen security specialist at the University of Santiago

29/11/2019 - by Lucile Gimberg Listen

(with AFP)

Source: rfi

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