Bloomberg News

Chile Bank Calls for Social Solutions That Preserve Economy

October 19, 2011

(Updates with comments from central bank president in third paragraph, government spokesman in fifth paragraph.)

Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Chile must find solutions to its socio-political problems that preserve the country’s economic health amid a deteriorating global climate, central bank President Jose De Gregorio told a conference in Santiago today.

Speaking as thousands of students prepared to stage demonstrations in the Chilean capital, De Gregorio said Chile should be an example for other countries in resolving “urgent and serious problems.”

“Clearly the climate of socio-political turbulence isn’t the most suitable for facing further deterioration in the world,” De Gregorio said, according to speech notes published on the bank’s website. “That’s why the challenge, more than ever, is building a solution to specific problems in an effective way, but always preserving macroeconomic stability and strengthening our capacity to grow.”

Chilean students plan to march in downtown Santiago today, continuing their five-month push for cheaper and better schooling, after the government invoked a security law to increase punishments for acts of violence and vandalism, the University of Chile student federation, known as Fech, said on its website.

‘Almost Terrorist’

Protesters disrupted traffic throughout Santiago and burned a city bus yesterday in an act that government spokesman Andres Chadwick called “almost terrorist” in an interview today with Radio Agricultura.

“What we saw yesterday truly exceeded all limits,” Chadwick said. “The government has been very clear: We will use all legal tools at our disposal so people can live in peace.”

Student leaders condemn violence and are calling for a peaceful march today, the Fech said on its website.

“Although some find it difficult to recognize because it seems that today saying everything is bad gives popularity, our country is exemplary,” De Gregorio said. “In the last decades, all Chileans have benefited from progress never before seen in our history and although there is much to do, we are an example for many counties. In this climate we must also be examples in resolving urgent and serious problems that should allow us to keep building a more prosperous country for all.”

--Editors: James Attwood, Harry Maurer

To contact the reporter on this story: Randall Woods in Santiago at rwoods13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net


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