Left Menu
Development News Edition

Chile President Pinera shakes up cabinet as economy wavers

Reuters | Santiago | Updated: 14-06-2019 00:10 IST | Created: 13-06-2019 23:59 IST
Chile President Pinera shakes up cabinet as economy wavers
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera sacked six ministers on Thursday in a bid to renew confidence in his center-right reform program, hours after pollster CEP showed approval for his administration had plunged to 25 percent.

Pinera replaced Economy Minister Jose Ramon Valente with economist Juan Andres Fontaine, and ousted Foreign Minister Roberto Ampuero in favor of Teodoro Ribera, a former Chilean justice minister. Pinera, who took office little more than a year ago, also replaced the heads of four other ministries: Energy, Public Works, Health and Social Development.

The changes come the same day pollster CEP found that the Pinera administration's approval had plunged 12 percentage points since the end of 2018. The poll found that 50 percent of Chileans now disapprove of his government. Ribera, Pinera's choice for foreign minister, will take over at a tense time in South America, with a deepening crisis in Venezuela and global trade tensions between China and the U.S. spilling over into the region.

At home, Pinera's newly appointed economy and health ministers will be tasked with pushing forward key reforms of the country's pension, health, tax systems, a heavy lift that has spurred a backlash among opposition parties. Pinera on Thursday blamed increasing trade tensions and global economic instability for complicating his plans, while adding that "difficulties at home" had also stymied progress.

"This year, 2019, will undoubtedly be even more challenging," he said in a speech announcing the shake-up at the presidential palace in Santiago. Political tensions at home have been made worse by a slump in mining. Chile's mining industry, a key driver of investment in the world's top producer of copper, has stagnated this year amid falling prices for the red metal and declining ore grades at the nation's sprawling but aging mines.

That has driven Central Bank estimates for GDP growth down as much as 1.25 percentage points from just two months earlier, further complicating Pinera's plans.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Why COVID-19 is unstoppable in USA despite it being ranked at the top of GHS Index?

Several worst-hit countries such as Italy, France, Spain, the UK, Canada, and Russia have peaked COVID-19 cases in April. Almost all of them have gradually flattened the curve. However, the USA is setting new daily records of infections tha...

COVID-19 seems cooking biggest ever global scam

The increasing number of corruption cases on COVID-19 funds from throughout the world and involvement of high profile persons indicate that the countries cant ignore corruption in their pandemic response programs. This has generated the nee...

Health Management Information Systems lack holistic, integrated, and pandemic resilient character

Being a part of the United Nations system, the World Health Organization WHO deserves its share of rebuke for its alleged failure issue COVID-19 health emergency alerts on appropriate time. However, the pandemic has also exposed loopholes i...

Pride in the time of coronavirus: a welcome move online?

This year is different in many ways not least as celebrations are also taking place against the dramatic backdrop of a global health crisis and a resurgence in grassroots activism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. ...

Videos

Latest News

FOREX-Risk currencies take breather after rally, virus resurgence lifts dollar

Risk currencies such as the Australian dollar took a breather from recent gains on Tuesday with investors hitting pause on an equity market rally, as new coronavirus flare-ups and regional lockdowns in some countries curbed buying and lifte...

We've to get on to Ben early, hope Jason can get on top of him in first Test: Simmons

West Indies coach Phil Simmons believes the opening Test will be a battle between two all-rounder captains in which he expects his skipper Jason Holder to get on top of his England counterpart Ben Stokes. Holder and Stokes, both top all-rou...

Author sues to stop removal of controversial Kentucky mural

Award-winning Kentucky writer Wendell Berry and his wife sued the University of Kentucky on Monday to try to stop the removal of a mural that has been the object of protest for its depictions of Black people and Native Americans. University...

Bhansali couldn't work with Sushant due to date issues: Police

Mumbai Police on Tuesday said Bollywood director Sanjay Leela Bhansali was planning to cast late actor Sushant Singh Rajput in four films, but due to unavailability of his dates the movies were offered to other actors. Rajput 34 was found h...

Give Feedback