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Cablegate: Chile Media Report ? November 20

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RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSG #1021/01 3252002
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 202002Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3975
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 3635
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 2179
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 1142
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0536
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 1847
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RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
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RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

UNCLAS SANTIAGO 001021

SIPDIS

STATE FOR R/MR, I/PP, WHA/BSC, WHA/PDA, INR/IAA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR KPAO PGOV OPRC PREL PGOV EFIN CI
SUBJECT: CHILE MEDIA REPORT ? NOVEMBER 20

MAJOR STORIES
----------------------
1. 30,000 workers march in Valparaiso for the third day of the
Association of Public Employees (Anef) strike. There were no
incidents; Chile will face its first fiscal deficit in six years
due to the drop in copper revenues.

U.S. Related
---------------
2. Editorial ?U.S. Economic Measures?: ?It?s very likely that
history will hold U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson
largely responsible for the current financial crisis.... But his
most recent decisions seem to be heading in the right direction.
Last week he announced his decision not to buy toxic financial
assets... and now opposes a bailout plan for the automobile
industry.... Saving inefficient companies is not a good way to
invest public resources and that is a lesson Chile must learn....
It?s also wise to leave part of the financial bailout resources
for the next administration. Basically, the government is doing
what it must do, which is to help create liquidity for the
economy through an array of initiatives? (El Mercurio,
conservative, influential newspaper-of-record, circ. 129,000).

3. Foreign Minister Alejandro Foxley is proposing opening
five new seats in the G20 for countries such as Chile. Foxley
will discuss this idea with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza
Rice in a bilateral meeting at APEC (La Tercera, conservative,
independent, circ. 101,000).

4. The Court of Appeals confirmed proceedings against
former Air Force (FaCh)intelligence agent Rafael Gonzalez for the
murder of American citizen Charles Horman, who was killed after
the 1973 military coup. Gonzalez has testified that he
interrogated Horman in General Augusto Lutz? office and that the
general ordered Horman killed. The trial began in October 2003,
but Lutz is no longer alive (La Nacion, government-owned,
editorially independent, circ. 4,200).

5. Extensive photo coverage of the Embassy?s Election Night
at the InterContinental Hotel (Caras and Ercilla magazines).

6. Editorial: ?The leaders at APEC will have to decide on how
to face the current crisis with agility and countries such as the
United States, Japan or China will have to show how they intend
to stop the crisis from deepening further (La Nacion).

Local
------
7. On the third day of the national public employee strike,
30,000 workers congregated in Valparaiso to reaffirm their
salary demands, as union leaders met with congressmen. The
government had proposed a graduated increase of up to 10 percent
for the lower income bracket, but congressmen insisted on an
equal increase for all. The government then proposed an overall
9.5 percent increase, but workers argue that this would amount to
only a 5.5 percent real increase, due to the current inflation
rate.

The President of the Exporters Association (Asoex), Ronald Bown,
says the strike is severely hurting exports, adding that it could
result in suits for breach of contract (El Mercurio).

8. Mexican President Felipe Calderon will arrive in Santiago
today. Mexican Ambassador Mario Leal said this will be a good
opportunity for both countries to ?coordinate their stance in
international fora,? on an array of issues, such as UNASUR. Chile
and Mexico signed an FTA in 1999 that was complemented with a
Strategic Association Agreement (El Mercurio).

9. Attorney General Sabas Chahuan appointed eleven prosecutors
to prosecute violations of environmental, public health, nuclear
security, and cultural patrimony laws (La Nacion).

10. The Capital Goods Corporation (CBC) reports that investment
projects amounting to US$2.36 billion have been postponed due to
the international financial crisis (El Mercurio).

11. Chile will face its first fiscal deficit in six years, due
to the drop in the price of copper and Molybdenum (El Mercurio).


SIMONS


***********************
Cecilia Pe$afiel
U.S. Embassy Santiago
e-mail: penafielcx@state.gov
***********************

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