Chile: What are the goals of the new government?

Piñera will concentrate its presidential period on child protection and security reform

Chile: What are the goals of the new government?

On Monday, March 12th, Sebastián Piñera began his presidential term. This is the third time - not consecutively - that Piñera assumes the position of maximum leader of the South American nation. This time around, the president seeks to apply changes in the economic, educational, and pension sectors. Here we mention the main objectives of his government.

There are five pillars in which Piñera will concentrate his new presidential term: Childhood, health, safety, environment, and poverty reduction. To reach them, the incoming government ensures that it will have to reverse the "negative numbers" of the administration of Michelle Bachelet in order to leave the economic stagnation that the country currently faces.

No more deaths of children in healthcare centers

Piñera receives the nation in the middle of an institutional crisis in the childhood and health services. In recent years, hundreds of children have lost their lives in healthcare centers due to precarious medical attention. According to a report delivered in 2017 by the Secretary of Healthcare Networks of Chile, in 2016, almost 25,000 people died while on a hospital waiting list. That is why the new government marks as a priority the reduction of these figures and the modification of the institutions that guarantee better assistance in childhood services.

Security and corruption in institutions

According to political analysts, in Chile there are more than 100 high-ranking security agents under investigation by the Prosecutor's Office due to corruption. Piñera will have to intervene in the police institutions, generate new control mechanisms, and prevent authorities from abusing their power, as well as abolishing the fabrication of false incriminating evidence, and the violation of the rights of indigenous communities and citizens.

A new immigration law also aims to become a fundamental pillar of Chile's internal security policy. In 2013, the then president left a bill in Congress, which saught to strengthen the country's immigration system. However, such proposal did not advance during Bachelet's administration. 

According to a report issued by the Chilean Investigative Police, in 2017, at least 1,398 foreigners were forced to leave the territory due to judicial or administrative rulings. This figure represents an increase of 32% compared to 2016 and could grow in the following years, since Piñera has shown to have a critical and restrictive position regarding the entry of immigrants into the country and has indicated that he is willing to propose regulations that do not allow the entry of foreigners so easily.

Fair pensions and educational gratuity

The reform in the pension system is an issue that the president will have to face in order to avoid a worsening institutional crisis. Low pensions, the high number of subscribers, and the increase of the population of over 65 years of age demand a reform in the Private System of the Administration of Pension Funds, since the one presented in the previous government was rejected by Congress. Piñera will then have to define under what formula the reform is made and whether or not it will ask the companies for greater contributions to the system.

The new president must guarantee the resources for free education without affecting the quality of its educational institutions. Due to the marked opposition in Congress, it is likely that his government follows a similiar speech structure to that of Bachelet in terms of protection and social security. Its objective for the end of the period is to deliver a country with a high GDP -Piñera wished it to rise from 2.5% to 3.5%-, decrease public debt, and maintain the good credit rating of the nation.

 

Latin American Post | Krishna Jaramillo

Translated from "Chile: ¿Cuáles son las metas del nuevo gobierno?"

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