Wednesday, March 12th 2014 - 07:55 UTC

Bachelet pledges to tackle 'inequality' and draft a new constitution

Socialist Michelle Bachelet promised to tackle inequality as she took the oath of office on Tuesday, returning to power after four years to lead Chile. Bachelet succeeds conservative Sebastian Piñera, who said he was leaving his successor “a better country than the one we had four years ago.”

From a balcony at Government house in Santiago, Bachelet addresses the crowd

 “Chile has but one great enemy, and its name is inequality. Only together can we take it on” the president said addressing a crowd gathered in the square next to government house or Casa de la Moneda. “Let's start now. The time is short,” she stressed, pledging 50 initiatives in her first 100 days back in office.

Earlier the 62-year-old was sworn in at a solemn ceremony in Congress charged with symbolism.

“Yes, I promise,” she said as she took the oath from the new Senate leader Isabel Allende.

Allende, the daughter of ousted president Salvador Allende who died in a 1973 coup, handed Bachelet the presidential sash and fervently embraced the returning president.

“The historic image of two women simultaneously occupying the two highest positions of state will go around the world,” Allende said earlier.

Gathered for the transfer of power were presidents from around the region as well as US Vice President Joe Biden. Notably absent was Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, who cancelled at the last minute.

Bachelet was Chile's first female president the first time she held the office, from 2006 to 2010. In this second stint at the helm, she will have a chance to cement her legacy as a transformative leader who experienced firsthand the horrors of the 1973-1990 Augusto Pinochet military dictatorship.

During that dark period, Bachelet was tortured, expelled from the country, and then returned years later to work as a pediatrician, eventually entering politics. Her father an Air Force commander died during torture.

After her first term as president, Bachelet spent three years in New York, where she headed UN Women, and on her return as head of the opposition alliance defeated conservative Evelyn Matthei in December elections with 62% of the vote.

During the intense campaign, she promised to launch major reforms of Chile's education system, its taxes and write a new constitution that wipes away vestiges of the Pinochet dictatorship.

She promised free university-level education and to end state subsidies to private, for-profit colleges, which have put higher education out of reach of the poor.

Both reforms were at the center of mass student protests that swept Santiago starting in 2011. Student leaders have remained skeptical, however, and say the protests will continue.

To finance the educational system, Bachelet has called for an ambitious tax reform that would raise 8.2 billion dollars, or about 3% of GDP.

The new constitution Bachelet envisions would replace one imposed by the military in 1980, and revise the length and limits on presidential terms.

In Congress, she has the majority needed to approve the tax reform, but still must form alliances with the opposition and independents to pass the educational reform and to rewrite the constitution.

Analysts believe she can easily find the votes for education reform, but say overcoming hurdles to changing the constitution will be much tougher.

Internally, Bachelet also must deal with political differences that are already evident in the broad coalition of Christian Democrats, Socialists and Communists who support her.

The crisis in Venezuela has already confronted her with divisions between Christian Democrats, who want to censure the Maduro government, and the communists, who support him.

Bachelet inherits an economy that is losing steam after some five years at 5% growth rate. Forecast for next year is between 3.75% and 4.75%.

54 comments Feed

Note: Comments do not reflect MercoPress’ opinions. They are the personal view of our users. We wish to keep this as open and unregulated as possible. However, rude or foul language, discriminative comments (based on ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or the sort), spamming or any other offensive or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated. Please report any inadequate posts to the editor. Comments must be in English. Comments should refer to article. Thank you.

1 Britworker (#) Mar 12th, 2014 - 09:11 am Report abuse
Why are they always reinventing their constitutions in South America?
2 ManRod (#) Mar 12th, 2014 - 11:04 am Report abuse
“Notably absent was Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, who cancelled at the last minute.”

best part of the whole ceremony, hands down! He couldn't have made her a bigger favour!

#1 Britworker:
“Why are they always reinventing their constitutions in South America?”

Chile is not always reinventing it's constitution, but you must consider that the current in place was created under the dictatorship of Pinochet. Eventhough it's a quite stable one, a fundament of what Chile represents today in a positive way, also we cannot deny that it requires modifications to be in order with democratic rules.
3 Chicureo (#) Mar 12th, 2014 - 11:05 am Report abuse
#1 Lack of vision, greed, stupidity and untruthful culture on the part of Latin Americans.

At least we did't surrender our constitutional rights to the EU like the UK did.

Bottom line, more taxes and more socialist policies...
4 ElaineB (#) Mar 12th, 2014 - 12:16 pm Report abuse
I am with her on the education reforms. A well educated population benefits the whole country and its future. Though, as I have stated here before, I don't believe university education should be necessarily funded by the tax-payer. There are other ways.

It will be interesting to see the reforms to the constitution Bachelet is proposing and how it will be received. Surely Chileans generally balk from change? In my experience they are a cautious nation, not until the Brits in that way.
5 Condorito (#) Mar 12th, 2014 - 01:01 pm Report abuse
@ Elaine
“A well educated population benefits the whole country and its future”

I add an important caveat to that ... provided the country doesn't go bankrupt in the process of trying to provide free education, thereby providing other countries with well educated professionals.

Case in point, Spain and Greece.

The UK still sits on a mountain of debt. The generations that ran up that debt got free education. The generations that are having to pay for it also have to pay for their own university education. Children paying for their parents education is perverse.

We would be foolish to go that route.

I am not an expert on the constitution so I remain open to the idea of changes, but instinctively I think that if it works, just leave it be. With China slowing and copper falling, there are more important things to be doing.
6 Chicureo (#) Mar 12th, 2014 - 03:09 pm Report abuse
Well said Condorito. What p*sses me off it that in her previous administration, education and medical care was inferior to that of Piñera. We're were the protests in the streets 6 years ago?
7 ElaineB (#) Mar 12th, 2014 - 04:18 pm Report abuse
@5 As I said, there are other ways that burden the tax-payer less.

You are, of course, right that a country must cut its cloth…. It is not developed yet and whilst more stable than any other South American country, needs to move cautiously.

I agree Pinera has been great for Chile. He has created business opportunities and trade agreements that will benefit Chile for years to come. He just was not great at getting that point across.

With development comes aspiration. People want to benefit from their country's growth and they will demand more. It is a natural progression.

When you think about it, flip-flopping between the two styles of government is probably the best for Chile in the long run.
8 Leiard (#) Mar 12th, 2014 - 04:30 pm Report abuse
4 ElaineB

I totally agree with you on the fact that university education should not be totally funded by the government/taxpayer.

The idea of student loans that are paid from future earnings is not bad, you are still being funded by the government but are expected to pay this money back, a good article on this.

www.independent.co.uk/student/student-life/9-common-myths-about-your-student-loan-8794151.html
9 axel arg (#) Mar 12th, 2014 - 04:33 pm Report abuse
A SECOND CHANCE.
I have always felt admiration for michelle bachelet, and for a great man like salvador allende, in fact, if i were chilean, surely i would vote for her.
Anyway, for being honest, i have little hopes respecting her proposal of constitutional reform, because even after 24 years of democracy, pinochet's legacy is still very strong in chilean politic scenario.
Beyond the horrible moments that our countries lived in the past, i have never been anti chilean, beside, most people here aren't anti chilean either, except for a reactionary and mediocre minority.
I wish her the best in implementing reforms which let the chileans to have statal universitary education. In contraty to what some people think, if the state doesn't fund universitary education, only elits will be able to enjoy it. As far as i'm concerned, if the state didn't fund my academic education, it would be hightly difficult for me study geography, because private institutions are too expensive.
Beside, if it soposes that education is so important for the future of the country, then why should it be handled by the market only?.
On the other hand, there are some myths about chile. After reading the comments of many people in this website, some of them say that now chile is more developed than arg., when actualy it's very relative, due to some indexes are better in chile, and others are better in arg. While it is true that since chile returned to democracy in 1990, it could improve it's social situation so much, it's also true that it's the unequalest country of the region, in term of incomes, and it's considererd like one of the worst of the world, and in the case of arg., after 2 decades and a half of neoliberal policies (1976-2002), it could improve so much it's social situation too since 2003, beside, it's not in absolut as unequal as chile is in term of incomes, and it has had statal universitary education since many years ago, beside, the country is much more industrialized.
10 Condorito (#) Mar 12th, 2014 - 05:43 pm Report abuse
@6 Chicureo
“We're were the protests in the streets 6 years ago?”

The protests were there. The “Penguin Revolution”. The difference is that Bachelet beat the crap out of school children to public applause and didn't meet their demands.

@9 Axel
I have replied to your “myth” on the other thread:

en.mercopress.com/2014/03/11/argentina-with-no-serious-economic-problems-just-complexities-and-challenges#comments

Regarding state funded university. I will use a personal example to illustrate how unfair it is:

I have 4 children all very likely to go to university. I will be looking at a expenditure over those years of US$200.000 . My household income is well in to the top 10% of households in the country.

If Bachelet provides free university education I will save enough to buy an apartment in Santiago for my children to use and have my children educated for free.

Many poorer families, whose children might not make it to university, will have to pay for my children's education and my new apartment in the city.

It is not fair, it is not the way to do it and it is unsustainable.
11 CaptainSilver (#) Mar 12th, 2014 - 05:46 pm Report abuse
If you have free university education people will only study easy subjects. This is the situation we have in the UK with a serious shortage of Science and Engineering graduates. Why grapple with partial diferential equations when you can do a degree in interior design?
Apparently Chile has very low taxes and this is key to producing an economy that thrives. If the government sucks money out of everybody's pockets to subsidize a lazy academic elite they have only to look across the Andes to see the result. A failing economy stifled by extreme socialism. Don't listen to numbskulls that have never travelled and observed success at first hand.
Chile has great natural resources, mining pays the piper, its wine industry is a world leader and there is a lot of scope to grow tourism. These are the things to tax lightly and pay for education, not to pick peoples pockets, that is the way to ruin.
12 Condorito (#) Mar 12th, 2014 - 06:40 pm Report abuse
@ 11 CS
You touch on an important point about taxes. In recent years Chile has received amongst the most foreign investment in the world (per head). As soon as Bachelet announced that she would be raising tax to fund her education reform, many businesses put their plans on hold.

Never kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. Never.
13 ElaineB (#) Mar 12th, 2014 - 09:08 pm Report abuse
@11 University is not free for the majority of UK students. Though I agree TB's target (oh, how he loved them) to get 50% of students into university backfired in the way you described. Many students dropped out after the first year. I would add that whilst easy degrees do not count for much in the workplace it would still set a candidate apart for having completed the course and, hopefully, gained some life skills along the way.

@8 Yes, there are many myths about university fees and how they are repaid in the U.K. It may indeed be a debt but is repaid at favourable terms, income related and affordable. That statistically people with a degree will earn more in their working lifetime should also be considered. Ultimately the student needs the facts to decide if they think it will enhance their career prospects.

It is also worth considering other options such as businesses funding students through university in return for a finite number of years work. Or government funding in return for teaching in state schools for a set number of years.

It is typical in the U.S. for companies to fund or part-fund masters degrees for their employees.

@9 You really have no idea, do you. When did you last visit Chile?
14 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 13th, 2014 - 12:29 am Report abuse
Maybe Bachelet has her own version of La Campora in store for the future...Basically the power structure that Pinochet had placed in Chile is melting away, lets see what occurs to Chile in the following years.

www.conexionbrando.com/1671514-chile-frente-al-ocaso-de-los-dinosaurios
15 Stevie (#) Mar 13th, 2014 - 05:46 am Report abuse
In Scandinavia, it's not only free. You get paid to attend a university.

Works like a charm.

You lot are wrong...
16 Anglotino (#) Mar 13th, 2014 - 10:35 am Report abuse
Chile is not Scandinavia by any measure.
17 Chicureo (#) Mar 13th, 2014 - 11:01 am Report abuse
In most of the Nordic countries, including Iceland, as well as Germany, Holland, Belguim and France provide state paid tuition as well as living assistance for the students. There are MANY other countries that do the same. Aid is typically provided biased on need, scholastic aptitude , and/or the student's future commitment to preform a service to society. The problem is that you need to have a society willing to pay high taxes...
18 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 13th, 2014 - 12:31 pm Report abuse
In Argentina only 43% of students finish highschool in term and only half graduate (UNESCO 2010)... In Chile and Peru over 70% of students finish highschool in established time.

Now lets check education expenditures as % of GDP

Argentina
6,3%

Chile
4,5%

Peru
2,5%

www.uis.unesco.org/Library/Documents/SPA_GED2010_WEB_140311.pdf

www.lavoz.com.ar/ciudadanos/solo-mitad-estudiantes-argentinos-termina-secundario
19 ElaineB (#) Mar 13th, 2014 - 12:56 pm Report abuse
@17 Exactly. Scandinavian countries have extremely high taxes in comparison. A friend of mine who lives in Finland has pretty much everything one could wish for in terms of healthcare, education and social structure. Her household income is very high but after taxes she has almost no disposable income. It is the system they chose.

It could never work in a country like Argentina because no one wants to pay into the system. They all want to take from it.
20 CaptainSilver (#) Mar 13th, 2014 - 02:21 pm Report abuse
Ms Bachelet needs to approach this question of free University Education very carefully. The cost of building lots of new University's as well as staffjngand running them is very high and any payback is very long term. The last thing Chile needs is thousands of unemployed and under employed graduates like Britain. A more sensible approach is to encourage proper student apprenticeships like we used to have in the UK where young people get academic training and practical training side by side, thus becoming useful and totally employable from the moment they finish their course. Many British graduates are unemployable, others have the wrong skills and we are having to rely on imigrants to prop up our Engjneering businesses. Our graduate nurses are inexperienced and lack practical skills and compassion. The whole area of University level training is a minefield. I would be looking to how the Germans do things. Making people pay or work for low wages in return for a degree or diploma makes people value the experience. No sweat or deprivation produces people with a sense of wrongful entitlement.
21 axel arg (#) Mar 13th, 2014 - 02:52 pm Report abuse
CONDORITO.
I respect your opinion, but i think it's too partial, because while it is true that statal universitary education is funded by all citizens, no matter whether they are rich or poor, it's also true that if it's not funded by the state, many people won't be able to study a universitary career, because not everybody can pay a private institution, and we can't ignore this fact, otherwsie we will make a partial lecture. Beside, if education is a human right, then everybody should have acces to it, including to universitary education.
I understand your personal situation, but i don't think that all those chileans students who claim for a statal universitary education enjoy your same status.
You know that i have always admired the scandinavian model, although taxes are too high in those countries, it's also true that people have the higuest life standards of the world, i dream that argentina has some day that model.
ELAINE B: If you don't agree on what i said in comment 9, then why don't you give me your arguments, as condorito did, instead of invaliding my comment, as you often do?.
22 Condorito (#) Mar 13th, 2014 - 04:07 pm Report abuse
@19 Elaine
“It could never work in a country like Argentina because no one wants to pay into the system. ”

It is not only that, but also, like Chile, the economy is not powerful enough to sustain both the growth we need and the high tax burden.

@20 CapSilver
Ironically we have too many engineering graduates for very different reasons than the UK. When you have to pay much for education there is a strong incentive to choose a subject that leads to a well paid job. Hence lots of engineering graduates. At the other end those who didn't get the grades but want a degree, enlist for journalism and other lighter subjects.

@Axel
You are correct that I am only giving one half of the argument. The other side of the coin is, as you say, that “free” education gives access to those who wouldn't otherwise have it. It is for that reason that the correct solution must take both sides in to consideration. As Elaine said a @4 the “tax and spend” is not the only way.

A Scandinavian model for Argentina will always be a dream. As Anglotino always point out, Australia is the country that Argentina could have been. And Australia scores higher in human development than the total of Scandinavia.
23 axel arg (#) Mar 13th, 2014 - 04:21 pm Report abuse
CONDORITO.
I am not against loans for example, or on some other alternative, but the state can't avoid funding universitary educations too, otherwise, it will happen what we both know.
Respecting anglotino's opinions about arg., i can only tellyou that it's not less partial than the average of most people in this forum, that's why most them often buy too asily all the myths about argentina's history. and it's actual situation.
24 CaptainSilver (#) Mar 13th, 2014 - 06:05 pm Report abuse
Axel - Argentinian myths?

President buys votes

Inflation presently between 48% and 60%

Many people live on less than $7 a day

Crime is out of control

Huge numbers of people living in tin shacks in Villa Miserias

Argentina is trying to blockade the Falkland Islands

Ordinary people cannot travel abroad because of currency restrictions

Argentinas currency is rapidly depreciating

Argentina annexed Patagonia and murdered most of the native population

Perhaps you can enlighten us on these myths?
25 Anglotino (#) Mar 13th, 2014 - 08:12 pm Report abuse
Axel Arg never replies to me when I highlight his use of myths and falsehoods in his comments, however I am quite happy to reply to his list of “myths” or any falsehoods that I have used.

I promise I'll reply to each single issue raised.

As for education. There can be a happy medium between free and paid tertiary education. It doesn't not have to be either extreme.

Australia's universities are state funded. However they are forbidden from enrolling more than 25% of students as full-fee paying. The rest are eligible for a government loan to pay for their fees. These fees are not the full cost of study but are see as a partial user-pays system. The higher the potential earning capacity, the higher the subject fee. So medicine and engineering are higher than architecture which is higher than humanities which are higher than languages.

Low language fees are aimed to bolster language learning.

The tax office manages this loan and when your earnings reach a certain point, they start to take a small percentage of your earnings from each pay packet. 1 or 2% a year. What this means is that should you never earn a lot of money, then you don't pay it back.

Also the government pays Austudy. Income support. If you are below a certain age then your parent's income is taken into account. However above 25 or if you live out of home then it is based solely on your income and asset test.

On top of all this is plenty of scholarships and diversity pathways.

I am ineligible for Austudy due to my assets. However I therefore need to work. As for my fees, I have not paid a single dollar yet. After this semester my HECS debt will probably be about $5,000-$7,000. I am unsure. Why worry until I graduate.

For a small country, our universities rank pretty well. So our model isn't perfect but it is workable and sustainable
26 The Chilean perspective (#) Mar 13th, 2014 - 10:14 pm Report abuse
Bachelet is committed to add substantial pressure to an economy that is showing signs of stress. She promised free, quality universal education at all levels within 6 years, a new constitution, a restructuring of the tax code and a war against inequality, which she names as our only great adversary.
These promises scare me, and most importantly they scare investors. Our economy will be unable to cope with a weak copper price (perhaps in the low $2/lb), plus the effects of a business unfriendly new tax code. I also expect their legislation to be full of holes and inconsistencies. They will be unable to bring in the money needed and will instead rely on deficit spending. There are dark clouds gathering in Chile. What the Leftists have to understand is that before you can redistribute the wealth you first have to create it. A Fact.. Tiny Maryland in the USA has a bigger GDP than all of Chile. We still have a long way to go before we start turning Chile into a welfare state.
27 ManRod (#) Mar 14th, 2014 - 07:11 am Report abuse
@ Axel Arg, even I do NOT agree with you in most points, I like your respectful way to present you point of view. I wish Toby and Think would have a settled way to do so.

Now... regarding your points:
“In contraty to what some people think, if the state doesn't fund universitary education, only elits will be able to enjoy it”

Really? Do you actually realize that you'd be saying that 1 million Chileans students belong to elite families. Considering mother, father, sisters, brothers, uncles, grandparents etc. , the elite families of Chile would be more than the total population of Chile, which is 16.5 Million. Wow... we must be doing great!
By the way... we have 1 million PAYING students in Chile with a population of 16.5 mill vs 1,7 million non-paying students in Argentina (with a population of 42 mill). I leave it up to you to calculate density about respective “chances” of the people. And hey... I am fair, I didn't even mention that graduate rates in Chile are 70% vs 43% in Argentina. Must be that people who pay are more willing and serious to achieve something in life...

“On the other hand, there are some myths about chile.
After reading the comments of many people in this website,
some of them say that now chile is more developed than arg.,
when actualy it's very relative, due to some indexes are
better in chile, and others are better in arg”

Some Indexes? Come on... actually, ist almost all relevant ones.
Chile beats Argentina in almost every relevant statistic, may that be Human Developement Index, GDP per capita (nominal and PPP) Life expectancy, Child Mortality, access to drinking water, Corruption Index, Inflation, market capitalization. Just to Name a few.

“...it's also true that it's the unequalest country of the region,
in term of incomes...”

The unequalest Country of the Region? The myth lives on while many literally swear it's “true”. Actually its doing quite average in the region regarding GINI Index. I challange you to prove your saying.
28 Chicureo (#) Mar 14th, 2014 - 10:27 am Report abuse
I do not completely trust Bachelet, but I do sincerely believe she will improve the financial access of university education using scores from scholastic aptitude tests that are balanced to the applicants background.
Axel, you said you studied Geography in the university... What now do you do for a living? Other than the noble profession of teaching, there are few positions for Geography... Or are you receiving state assistance? Sucking away valuable funds that could be supporting a poor student who wishes to be a doctor or teacher or ...

Finally, I have a daughter studying law in a Chilean university. The tuition alone is about a thousand dollars a month. (Cheap by international standards) My part time gardener also has a son in a private university (UAI) here with a 75% scholarship based on his PSU score. Obviously his father is struggling to keep his son in the university studying law even with 75% of the tuition covered. The remainder of the costs are paid by the 2% loan available by the government.
Both he and I are thrilled that our children are in the university except for one difference: his son was the first to finish secondary education.
29 Stevie (#) Mar 14th, 2014 - 11:35 am Report abuse
Well Anglolatino, looks like the system in Australia is useless compared to the Scandinavian one...
30 Anglotino (#) Mar 14th, 2014 - 01:13 pm Report abuse
Yes Stevie. Totally useless. If you say so guess that's why we have lower government debt than all countries in Scandinavia.

Ranking just behind Norway on HDI and IHDI, we must be doing something right.

If Chile can afford it, follow the Scandinavian systems. I'm guessing they can't afford it, so our useless system might be affordable.
31 Stevie (#) Mar 14th, 2014 - 02:04 pm Report abuse
Australia doesn't have a lower government debt than the Scandinavian countries, unless you are talking per capita.
This is still irrelevant, as the Scandinavian countries build up their debt after the inclusion of the neo-liberal politics, introduced in the 90's, something that slowly is killing off the welfare state...
32 Condorito (#) Mar 14th, 2014 - 03:14 pm Report abuse
@31
So why the inclusion of neo-liberal policies?
Why have they made that turn?
33 Stevie (#) Mar 14th, 2014 - 06:17 pm Report abuse
Call it globalization and a foolish wish to join the consumer society with its 2 year guarantee...
34 Condorito (#) Mar 14th, 2014 - 07:29 pm Report abuse
@33
I thought the Scandies has so much more vision and common sense than to follow like sheep.

If you are getting 2 year guarantees you're doing ok.
35 Stevie (#) Mar 14th, 2014 - 07:49 pm Report abuse
Well, Condorito, with the murder of Olof Palme, the right wing in Sweden paved the way to end 70 years of socialism in Sweden (yes, with a Fälldin parentesis).

The rest is, as they say, history...
36 Condorito (#) Mar 14th, 2014 - 08:32 pm Report abuse
Presidential assassination followed by introduction of neo-liberal policies.
Sounds like Sweden is following the Chilean model!

To further your Chileanization:
- recover some of the beautiful fiords from Norway.
- eliminate those regressive taxes on alcohol
- have semi-naked women serve you in coffee shops
- stop making awful pop music
37 Stevie (#) Mar 14th, 2014 - 08:45 pm Report abuse
Could be, Condorito.... And it's going one way only.

But since I'm Uruguayan and we are indeed aiming for a system that reminds of Sweden in the 80's, I'll be fine...

And know that fascism is nothing to be proud about or indeed be flashing as something positive...
38 Condorito (#) Mar 14th, 2014 - 08:48 pm Report abuse
... neither is sterilizing ethnic minorities in pre 80s Sweden.
39 Stevie (#) Mar 14th, 2014 - 08:58 pm Report abuse
As little as burning “witches”... A pre 80's fact in Sweden as well...
40 Condorito (#) Mar 14th, 2014 - 09:08 pm Report abuse
Stevie, where is the fascism in “café con piernas”?

You should lighten up, we wouldn't want you contributing to the already too high suicide rate up there.

PS did the Swedish gov't fess up to burning 1000s of witches too?
41 Stevie (#) Mar 14th, 2014 - 09:13 pm Report abuse
Imagine Condorito, in the pre 80's, the Swedes even had autocratic Kings...
42 Condorito (#) Mar 14th, 2014 - 09:24 pm Report abuse
autocratic kings, witch burnings, sterilizing ethnic minorities,
... no café con piernas .... not liking the sound of the Swedish model.
43 Stevie (#) Mar 14th, 2014 - 09:26 pm Report abuse
They also drank an early version of beer from the skulls of their enemies.

Hence the word “Skål”.

Pre 80's as well...
44 Condorito (#) Mar 14th, 2014 - 09:36 pm Report abuse
murder and violence is nothing to be proud about or indeed be flashing as something positive...
45 Stevie (#) Mar 14th, 2014 - 09:43 pm Report abuse
Me proud of the vikings?
I never felt that much a Swede, to be honest...

Saw this Picture once though, directed at Christians, stating

“Your God is nailed to a cross, my God has a hammer.

Any questions?”

Highly amusing... ;)
46 Condorito (#) Mar 14th, 2014 - 10:16 pm Report abuse
nice one.
47 Anglotino (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 02:14 am Report abuse
Stevie do some research on government debt and come back with an apology.
48 Heisenbergcontext (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 03:55 am Report abuse
@29 Stevie

We have nearly a quarter of a million foreign students studying here Stevie - more than a fifth of the total number of students. Many of these are from Singapore and judging by the brand new rice-burners they love zipping around in they could easily afford to study else where. For a nation with a pretty small population we do ok I think.

@36 Condorito

Their pop music is ok - their death metal with vocals inspired by the cookie monster...I could do without.
49 Stevie (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 07:34 am Report abuse
Anglolatino

www.australiandebtclock.com.au/

I owe you no excuses.

You are just wrong.
50 ManRod (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 03:19 pm Report abuse
“their death metal with vocals inspired by the cookie monster...I could do without.”

I couldn't. Actually, I cannot believe you deny one the finest metal of our times. Opeth is by far the best what last decades have brought to my ears...Cookie Monsters make the best ballads anyway:

Hope Leaves
www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOlFv9RMuIM

For the tougher boys:

Reverie / Harlequin Forest
www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I7XmtUVA6I

Swedish Prog metal FTW!!!
51 Heisenbergcontext (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 04:38 pm Report abuse
@50

Lol, love your enthusiasm. I'm a guitar player so I can appreciate the chops of a lot of these bands as well as how adventurous the arrangements are. But let's face it...there's only one cookie monster.
52 axel arg (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 10:03 pm Report abuse
ANGLOTINO: Which are your refutations for my comment?. If i forgat answering you any question, sorry, not alwyas i have time for answering absolutly everyone.
If your sistem works well, congratulations. We have also many statal universities, and many others which are private, but graduated people from the statal ones, especialy from . u. b. a., are usually more demanded by the market, because many of them are the most prestigious institutions from the country, anyway there are some private universities which are also prestigious.
MANROAD: I didn't express my self correctly, i should have said that if universitary education isn't funded by the state, there will be many people who won't be able to study a universitary career, due to not everyone can pay a loan, in order to study at a private institution. In my comment 9, i explained about my personal situation too.
Respecting the social situations of both countries, i respect your opinion, but i disagree partialy on what you say. While it is true that some indexes are better in chile, it's also true that the difference between both countries isn't signifficant. The question is very ample, for example, instead of talking about inflation, we should talk about buying power, while it is true that chile has the highest per capita income, arg's lowest salary (salario mínimo vital y movil) is the 2nd of the region, after venezuela. Beside, you still don't have statal universitary education, on the other hand, unequality in term of incomes is much worse in chile than in arg. I promess i'll give you the new numbers of our gini index in my next comment, because now i can't remember it. These issues are also relevant.
CHICUREO: I'm still studing at my professor place, but i work at a private instution, i don't work for the state.
53 Anglotino (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 08:10 am Report abuse
Great link Stevie.

Didn't prove a thing.
54 Condorito (#) Mar 17th, 2014 - 01:26 pm Report abuse
@52 Axel,
I have to pick you up again on your continuing misconceptions about Chile. You say Chile doesn't have “statal universitary education” so “there will be many people who won't be able to study a universitary career”.

We actually have many scholarships available for intelligent students whose families can't afford university. If you score over 700 points on the PSU (this is the final year school exam) you will get your university career paid for by the state if your parents combined monthly income is less than about Ch$1.4000.000 (approx Arg$25.000 / month).

There are many other becas too, e.g. if you score over 600 (quite easy to obtain) and you want to be a teacher your career is paid for regardless of family income. There are other more exotic becas to study in more advanced countries like NZ. I prefer a motivating system like this.

You also imply that greater state participation in university is superior to private participation. If you look around the world you will see that this is not the case. There is a massive gap between the world's elite universities and the rest. If you want to become technologically advanced you must have elite universities (why do you think China has spent a fortune in the last 25 years sending its best students to the best universities in the USA and UK?)

I read in the Mercurio a few years ago that Harvard received more money from ex-students than Cambridge received from the British state, and than in turn was more than the combined budget of every single university in Chile.

On inflation: “ instead of talking about inflation, we should talk about buying power”

Axel, buying power is destroyed by inflation. You can't talk about buying power without talking about inflation. If inflation is 3% / month your buying power is reduced by 3% a month.

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!

Advertisement

Get Email News Reports!

Get our news right on your inbox.
Subscribe Now!

Advertisement