Chile leader Pin­era says will not re­sign

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

San­ti­ago, Chile - Chilean Pres­i­dent Se­bas­tian Pin­era said on Tues­day he will not re­sign in the face of deadly protests over in­equal­ity and poor so­cial con­di­tions that have en­tered their third week.

Asked by the BBC in an in­ter­view whether he will step down, the bil­lion­aire con­ser­va­tive leader said, “No.”

“Th­ese prob­lems have been ac­cu­mu­lat­ing for the past 30 years,” Pin­era said. “I am re­spon­si­ble (for) part of it and I as­sume my re­spon­si­bil­ity, but I’m not the only one.”

Fresh clashes broke out on Tues­day, adding to the vi­o­lence grip­ping one of Latin Amer­ica’s most pros­per­ous coun­tries. It has forced the gov­ern­ment to can­cel two ma­jor in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic and cli­mate sum­mits and open talks with the left­ist op­po­si­tion.

Thou­sands of pro­test­ers took to the streets in the cap­i­tal, and in the south­ern cities of Con­cep­cion and Vina del Mar, west of San­ti­ago.

Po­lice fir­ing bird­shot in­jured two stu­dents among a group try­ing to over­run a pub­lic high school in San­ti­ago, po­lice said. The stu­dents were treated at a hos­pi­tal and re­leased.

Cit­ing pub­lic or­der fears, South Amer­i­can foot­ball chiefs an­nounced they were switch­ing the venue for a ma­jor con­ti­nen­tal soc­cer fi­nal from San­ti­ago.

This month’s show­piece Copa Lib­er­ta­dores fi­nal will now be held in the Peru­vian cap­i­tal Lima, soc­cer author­ity CON­MEBOL said af­ter meet­ing in Paraguay.

Pros­e­cu­tors say 20 peo­ple have died in un­rest since the protests be­gan on Oc­to­ber 20.

A UN hu­man rights mis­sion is in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­le­ga­tions of po­lice bru­tal­ity.

In his in­ter­view, Pin­era de­fended his de­ci­sion to de­clare a state of emer­gency but promised to look into al­le­ga­tions of po­lice vi­o­lence and abuse.

The in­ter­view came as the

Pres­i­dent an­nounced a pack­age of mea­sures for small and medium-sized busi­nesses hit by the un­rest. Some 6,800 com­pa­nies af­fected by ri­ot­ing, loot­ing and fires will ben­e­fit from fi­nan­cial aid and tax de­duc­tions.

Demon­stra­tors and riot po­lice clashed again in the cap­i­tal San­ti­ago on Tues­day, when around 2,000 peo­ple gath­ered in the cap­i­tal.

(AFP)

Peo­ple take part in a demon­stra­tion against Chilean Pres­i­dent Se­bas­tian Pin­era, in Buenos Aires on Tues­day

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