With the participation of the president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, the former president of the Government of Spain José María Aznar and the president of the Azvi group, Manuel Contreras Caro, the Vocento Spain Chile Forum was held this Thursday, an event held to address some of the issues most pressing for the South American country, such as the successful vaccination process, which has been made possible thanks to a bold purchase of vaccines, or the upcoming elections, with the opening of polling stations on April 10 and 11, to elect the Convention Constituent that will draft a new Magna Carta.
With these concerns, the conversation followed two axes: the pandemic and the constituent project. “In Chile, we made two very important decisions,” explained Piñera, from his office in La Moneda, visibly satisfied. First, anticipate, because in January 2020 we already began to prepare to face the pandemic. In April, we contacted many laboratories, and we looked for agreements and to close contracts ». For the president, the results have been unbeatable. According to the latest data, almost 6 million Chileans have already received the first dose of the vaccine, which places the country at the head of the most efficient in this process.
The conversation turned to the constituent process, born out of the 2019 protests, when thousands of Chileans took to the streets, combining episodes of violence with others of peaceful demand. “There were wounds, cracks, which began to manifest,” replied Piñera, about the difficulties that the country was dragging after having completed a successful transition to democracy three decades ago. “The world is now very different from the 90s,” added the president, who was optimistic, stating that the debate is taking place “with a lot of dialogue,” trying to sideline “the extremists on both sides.”
Restlessness for the future
“A friend and a restless democrat are speaking to you, not only for the future of Chile, but for that of Spain, and the whole world,” began Aznar, who recalled that, under the Chilean Constitution of 1980, the country has known five presidents , four of them from the center left, and who also expressed their international concerns, showing that in today’s world there are “two great battles: democracy versus authoritarianism and freedom versus populism.” For the former president, who fears that the authoritarian side is winning, political crises are the most dangerous. For this reason, he recalled the instability of recent years in Spain, stating that the end of bipartisanship has not brought improvements “neither in political, economic, social or international terms.” “Populist temptations are present in Spain and Chile,” he warned, “and I hope they close well.”
“For the heart of our new Constitution, we seek freedom in the broad sense: political freedom, of entrepreneurship and social freedom, of opportunities,” replied Piñera, trying to quell concerns and recalling that the Magna Carta of 1980 was the subject of divisions since the day of his birth, in full military government. «We believe in Chile. From a legal point of view, it is the safest country on the entire continent, ”praised Contreras, who expressed affectionately how his company lived its first international exit experience there.
In Chile, the accumulation of decades of discontent erupted in the fall of 2019, when protests lit the streets and put Piñera before one of the most difficult challenges of his tenure. Reacting in time, the president ordered a plebiscite to be held, to set the springs of constitutional change in motion and satisfy one of the most repeated demands by the protesters. As a result of the Pinochet dictatorship, the Magna Carta of 1980 had become the object of harsh criticism and anger. Held last October, 78.25% of the voters of the referendum supported the drafting of a new Constitution. From the Palacio de La Moneda, the president asked that it become a “great framework for unity, stability, and the future.”
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