SANTIAGO, 5 Nov. (Agency One / EP) –
The Government of Chile announced on Tuesday new measures to try to respond to the demands of the tens of thousands of protesters who have taken to the streets of the country in recent weeks to protest against the authorities.
The president of the country, Sebastián Piñera, has announced the program 'Let's raise your SME', which he has described as “a new project in the social agenda” and that “will benefit about 6,800 micro, small and medium enterprises that suffered in own flesh the effects of this brutal crime, vandalism and destruction. ”
Thus, he said that the program is based on seven pillars, with a project “to anticipate the maximum period of 30 days and that large companies pay bills to SMEs” in this period.
Piñera has also defended that “you should lead by example” and will seek that before this initiative is approved in Congress “large companies and the State anticipate payment to SMEs”, as well as give “flexibility” so that SMEs can collect insurance. In addition, longer tax deadlines will be given, subsidies, loans and guarantees will be provided and legal advice will be granted.
The Chilean president has also revealed that the Executive will launch the campaign 'I choose SMEs' so that people choose between the products of these companies and another bill will be sent to Congress to “incentivize and facilitate donations” to SMEs.
“It is in difficult times when the temperament of men and the character of the people is tested. Chile has always known how to face adversity, with unity, solidarity and greatness,” he has said.
For its part, the Government has presented a plan for the recovery of public spaces and infrastructure damaged during the protests, an initiative that includes the development of a damage cadastre, an economic proposal for projects and a bill to accelerate the works.
“What the president has asked us is to return the city to the neighbors, that they can reuse public spaces, the streets, that there is football, that there is spectacle. In short, that the city begins to function again,” said the mayor of the Metropolitan Region, Felipe Guevara.
In this sense, the mayor of Santiago, Felipe Alessandri, stressed that “here there is a very important effort of the Ministry of Housing in the sense of having just over 10,000 million pesos (about 12 million euros) and 5,000 millions (about six million euros) next year of funds that go directly to the heart of the neighbors. ”
“Because here those who can apply for these funds are not just the municipalities, they are the neighborhood boards, they are the sports clubs, they are the social organizations that want to repair their place, their neighborhood, the intimate space they use as a family, as neighbors” He has defended.
The Minister of Housing and Urbanism, Cristián Monckeberg, said for his part that from the Government and its portfolio “an effort will be started among all, understanding that there is much destruction of public spaces.” “We want to start a process of recovering that public space,” he added.
“We will make this recovery among all. On the one hand the municipalities and mayors, on the other the regional governments, but also the neighbors,” he has said.
Protests in Chile erupted on October 17 against the fourth rise in the price of the subway in a few months and grew rapidly to denounce social inequality and raise the need to develop a new Constitution.
Piñera, who came to declare the state of emergency deploying to the Armed Forces, apologized for not hearing the clamor of the Chileans and proposed a “social agenda.” To make it a reality, it has remodeled the Government and initiated a dialogue with the political parties, both opposition and official.
In these weeks, at least 19 people have died from clashes between protesters and security forces and over a thousand have been arrested. The National Institute of Human Rights (NHRI) has denounced torture and other abuses against people detained in the context of the protests.