15:54 GMT +317 November 2019
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    Protesters wave a Chilean flag, marked with a message that reads in Spanish: Pinera quit during a demonstration in Santiago, Chile, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019.

    Chilean President Pinera Offers New Social Measures Amid Protests

    © AP Photo/ Miguel Arenas
    Latin America
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    The President addressed the nation in the wake of the violent protests, and apologized for his failure to foresee the social crisis, as he announced a set of measures aimed to improve the economic and social situation.

    Chilean President Sebastian Pinera announced Tuesday a broad set of social measures that will address social demands expressed during violent protests that left 15 people dead.

    In his statement, the President apologized before the nation for his failure to foresee the social crisis and announced increases in minimum wage, pensions and improvement in health care. He also announced increases in taxes for the people with higher income.

    "This social agenda will not solve all the problems that afflict Chilean families, but it is a large and significant effort to improve the quality of life," the President said in a televised statement. "I recognize this lack of vision and I apologize to my compatriots."

    The demonstrations, which were initially aimed against increase in subway ticket prices, started on 6 October and quickly grew into violent rallies, clashes with law enforcement, and public unrest, in which at least 15 people have died. 

    The increasingly violent nature of the public rallies forced the authorities to declare a state of emergency and then impose a curfew in the provinces of Santiago and Chacabuco, as well as in the municipalities of Puente Alto and San Bernardo on Saturday.


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