Chileans call for po­lit­i­cal change

Mercury (Hobart) - - WORLD -

HUN­DREDS of thou­sands of protesters have ral­lied in cities across Chile, call­ing for im­me­di­ate and wide-rang­ing gov­ern­ment re­forms that in­cluded a higher min­i­mum wage, more af­ford­able med­i­ca­tion and a new con­sti­tu­tion.

Ap­prox­i­mately 100 unions and so­cial or­gan­i­sa­tions rep­re­sent­ing teach­ers, stu­dents, min­ers, doc­tors and flight crews called for strikes and marches.

The rally in San­ti­ago was at­tended by about 80,000 peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to the Gov­ern­ment. Another 100,000 peo­ple were thought to have taken to the streets of the cen­tral Chilean city of Con­cep­cion, while another 50,000 marched in the south­ern port city of Puerto Montt.

Pres­i­dent Se­bas­tian Pin­era’s gov­ern­ment vowed on Mon­day that it would move for­ward with a plan to re­write the coun­try’s dic­ta­tor­ship-era con­sti­tu­tion.

The con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ing par­ties are re­luc­tant to con­vene a con­stituent assem­bly, as de­manded by protesters.

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