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New records for Chilean president Piñera: approval 26%; disapproval 66%

Tuesday, May 8th 2012 - 17:03 UTC
Full article 12 comments

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera has reached his lowest level of citizen approval since he came to office in 2010, according to the latest Adimark poll released on Monday. Read full article

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  • JohnN

    Sr Piñera: To recuperate your popularity, all you need do is to confiscate a YPF and threaten a Falkland Islands community. The formula seems to work well - at least in the short term - for your Eastern neighbour...

    May 08th, 2012 - 05:46 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    @1
    He is such a pitiful populist that he would do that if he thought it would work.
    I had such high hopes at the start of his term in office, but he has delivered almost nothing. We have just been in neutral for 2 years.

    May 08th, 2012 - 07:10 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ManRod

    completely agree with Condorito. I also had high hopes @ start of his presidency. But I am quite dissapointed, especially because of his international affairs, less due to his internal government, which is by far not that bad as felt by our own population and polls (typically Chilean exagerated melodramatism, a storm in a glass)

    May 08th, 2012 - 09:19 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Sergio Vega

    Well, I'm a little disappointed too because I gave him my support to have a hard hand to recover the order and safety in my country after 20 years of mismanagement by leftist coalition The Disconcerted.....Unfortunately, he didn´t do it and now anyone that thinks is suffering discrimination, harasment or any light problem just call for a street rally, put on fire some tires and bank offices or assault shop and the authority start de table talk with them....On the economic issue has been a very good Gvt. with high figures, better than excpected previously and the best in Latam....By the way, the oposition coalition has worse result from the polls, so I think something is happening undercover, mainly the population is been influenced by the ultra leftist and by a programmed plan to demonizes the political parties and its members......

    May 09th, 2012 - 05:10 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Chilean perspective

    Piñera has lacked the testicular fortitude to tackle the protesters head on, this much is true. It is also true that his administration has handed out all manner of subsidies and bonuses, perhaps even outdoing the previous socialist concertacion government. On the other hand GDP growth is good, inflation is low and direct foreign investment is doing great, this is a tick of confidence in Chile and we should all recognise this.

    May 09th, 2012 - 07:50 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Leiard

    We have a similar problem in the UK.

    For many years we had a socialist government that thought it could spend more and more money - money that we did not have.

    We voted in a new government to be hard and sort out the socialist overspending, they have been doing this and the UK has kept its AAA credit rating.

    Now after 2 years the polls and local elections are showing an upsurge in support for the socialists. Many people believe that they should be exempt from the pain of sorting out the economy.

    OK this is a simplistic view of the situation - the current coalition government has its faults and made mistakes.

    At the end of the day you can not spend what you have not got - never mind what the socialists feel.

    May 09th, 2012 - 07:56 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ManRod

    Leiard, the issue you mention in the UK is quite the same in most european countries, I even think in a worse situation (except Germany). High state debts, lobbies pressuring for spending money which is not there, etc...

    Piñera had an easier situation, we must admit.
    No matter how much we can critizise our previous left governments, we cannot blame them for spending money they didn't have. Totally opposite... Michelle Bachelet, a socialist, has increased the positive fiscal balance to historic heights (also mainly due to increased copper prices).
    Chile never had so much money as it has during the last years, we are one of the less indebted countries in the world, but now this causes the masses to get greedy for their interests.

    Much of the turbulence you see and hear about Chile is because we are having GOOD times and everybody wants a big piece of the cake.
    Strangly this had led to more dissatisfaction in the population than in times were Chile was economically weak and suffering.

    Human kind is a very strange being...

    May 09th, 2012 - 08:51 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    Leiard, ManRod is correct. In Chile the socialist government was only nomially socialist, they didn't actually spend much money on society. There is almost no wellfare system, hence no public debt. The fundamental problem Piñera has, is that he should never have been elected (personally I wanted him elected). Chile only allows a president to run for 1 term. The outgoing Bachelet had 78% approval at the end of her term. In any other democratic country she would have swept to victory for a second term and the country would have run smoother. But instead the “socialist” coalition put forward a respected, but weak candidate resulting in Piñera victory. So right from the start Piñera has had limited public support which has allowed the opposition to ambush every political agenda.

    The UK and Chile are moving to similar positions from opposite ends. In the UK you are scaling back public service due to high debt, while in Chile people are demanding better public services due to trade surplus.
    In Chile people dont' understand what wellfare is, in the UK people can't imagine a world without it. When you look at Uk public spending from outside it is absurd. The NHS budget is approx £100 billion that is almost 2 billion pounds a week (I think those two new aircraft carriers have a price tag of 2 billion each). At some point you just have to tell people enough is enough. In the UK it is an abuse of your human rights if you can't wreck your liver with alcohol then fall in to hospital and demand a new one. But tell a Brit that is not sustainable and most won't comprehend.

    May 09th, 2012 - 03:18 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • zulu99

    @8 I'm not sure I understand what your definition of welfare is? Per my definition, Chile has very large welfare programs. My mother-in-law, who had no money, was practically “given” a home in 1991. She paid a total of a ~250,000 pesos for it over a long period of time. That's right, 250,000 Pesos Chilenos. My sister-in-law and her husband received a house from the government in 2007. They were only required to pay a total of ~500,000 Pesos Chilenos. They were very poor, so the balance was completely subsidized by the Chilean government. When my wife and her sisters were attending school back in the 80's and early 90's, they were given 2 meals/day, 5 days a week on the government's dime.

    I have another sister-in-law, who makes 420,000 Pesos Chilenos/month working in comercio exterior. She is applying for her first house. She has to have un palo y medio in her account and show her paystub and the government will subsidize quite a bit of the down payment. My other sister-in-law, who makes 320,000 Pesos Chilenos/month as a teacher is applying for her first house and the government will do the same thing.

    So, those are some examples of what I call welfare. But, maybe my definition is different?

    May 09th, 2012 - 08:03 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Dorian

    @JohnN: Chile already nationalized the copper mines under Allende, and they've benefited greatly ever since. Even Pinochet knew that the mines couldn't be re-privatized.

    May 09th, 2012 - 09:24 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    @9
    Yes, I agree that the housing subsidies are a form of welfare, although I have never heard of, or know of anyone who has received a house for CH$250,000
    The system I know of provides a subsidy of up to 200UF (US4000) on houses worth up to 2000UF. But my point is that total government spending in Chile is tiny compared to countries like UK, France and Germany.
    I am just going on what I have see when in these countries. Perhaps the spend in terms of % of GDP is similar.

    May 09th, 2012 - 11:18 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Leiard

    Hi All,

    I did say it was a simplistic view.

    The UK has not always been is this poor state - we have been in the position of surplus of balance of payments!

    But we all have to be careful, when times are good we should not just spend what we have.

    Yes your copper mines provide a great income at the moment, but the danger is that the you can spend that income now and then your people expect you to provide this level of expenditure now matter what happens in the future.

    May 10th, 2012 - 06:10 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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