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Cablegate: Chile Media Report - November 25

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TAGS: KMDR KPAO PGOV OPRC PREL PGOV EFIN CI
SUBJECT: CHILE MEDIA REPORT - NOVEMBER 25

Headline Stories
----------------
1. World stock markets on the rise as a result of the bailout plan
for Citigroup; Finance Minister Andres Velasco foresees that Chile
will end with a fiscal surplus in 2009 despite the drop in copper
prices.

U.S.-related News
-----------------
2. Chileans comment on Timothy Geithner. Vittorio Corbo, former
Central Banks President, economist Sebastian Edwards, Guillermo Le
Fort (IMF), and Esteban Jadresic all met Tim Geithner at some point
during their careers and concur on Geithner's expertise on
macroeconomic policy, his experience in working with the public
sector and governments, familiarity with powerful circles, and his
practical approach to resolving problems, looking beyond traditional
economic theory (El Mercurio, conservative, influential
newspaper-of-record, circ. 129,000, 11/25).

3. Former Chilean Finance Minister Eduardo Aninat commented on
Geithner: "Unlike the Bush team, he knows how to work with
governments and not just banks.... He is thoroughly familiar with
macroeconomic policy, is an expert negotiator and a pragmatist (La
Tercera, conservative, independent (circ. 101,000, 11/25).

4. The National Criminal DNA Archive began operating yesterday.
The archive is based on the FBI's Combined DNA Index System, which
was made available to Chile with the signature of a cooperation
agreement between the Ministry of Justice and the U.S. federal
agency. The archive will store genetic data from criminals and
victims for cross reference and evidence from the sites of crimes
(El Mercurio, 11/25).

5. Bridgett Wagner of The Heritage Foundation was invited by
conservative think tank Libertad y Desarrollo and the Union of Latin
American Parties (UPLA) to speak on the U.S. election. Wagner said
Sarah Palin is the kind of change that the Republican Party needs.
"She fought the establishment and corruption in the party, which
requires great courage," said Wagner. She said that this election
shows that the GOP must learn that it must not diverge from its
conservative policies and realize that "not all power is in
Washington." "It must learn to give power back to the states,
communities, and families and show that it can properly manage
American tax payers' money," she said.

6. Editorial entitled, "The President-elect's Appointments and
Signals":

"The promise of change that was central to the Senator's campaign...
has generated wide expectation... and he has responded to that
expectation in two ways.... First, he has emphasized... he signs of
unity that were characteristic of his campaign.... The cordial
meeting with his former Republican opponent and his visit to the
White House with his wife were gestures to show public opinion...
that his administration will not be belligerent, but rather
conciliatory.... Second... his appointments... show that the
president-elect is putting together a team of individuals who have a
more centrist stance, and with executive and legislative
experience.... There are, therefore, reasons to believe that the
next White House tenant wants to form an inclusive team of highly
capable individuals, whose views are more in the center than to any
of the extremes (La Tercera, conservative, independent, circ.
101,000, 11/25).

7. Column by Ivan Auger: "As a citizen of the world, the
newly-elected U.S. President -- son of a white mother from the deep
south and a Kenyan father, educated in Indonesia and Hawaii, and in
Harvard Law School and a community activist in the ghettos of
Chicago -- is perhaps the best individual to take the United States
into today's multination and cosmopolitan world.... It is the only
reasonable alternative in today's multi-polar world (El Mostrador,
11/25).

Cuba
----
8. Former DC party President Soledad Alvear recalled that she was
invited to visit Cuba many times as Foreign Affairs Minister, adding
that she would have gone had she been allowed to meet with the
dissidents. In this context, Alvear said that Bachelet should meet
with the opposition in her trip to Cuba next February. Foreign
Minister Foxley confirmed Bachelet's trip, but said the final agenda
is not ready yet. Foxley said Chile hopes to be a good partner in
Cuba's transition. Reportedly, the DC will ask Bachelet to inform
Raul Castro of the party's position regarding human rights in Cuba
(La Nacion, government-owned, editorially independent, circ. 4,200,
11/25).

9. Idania Ramos, of the Cuban Friendship People's Institute,
thanked the GOC and the Chilean Cuban Solidarity Movement for the
aid provided to help the victims of recent hurricanes on the island.
Ramos also met with elected municipal authorities to discuss the
Miracle Operation Project, during which Cuban physicians have
already assisted 150 patients in Quillota (La Nacion, 11/25).

Nuclear Energy
--------------
10. President Bachelet will visit Russia next year to discuss
nuclear energy, defense and investment. Russia has conducted a
strong lobby in Chile and the region in recent years to promote the
development of nuclear plants. The problem the HydroAysen project
faces in Chile provides a new argument to include nuclear energy in
Chile's energy matrix. Finland, France, and the United States have
already expressed their interest in investing in nuclear plants in
Chile, and Russia is not far behind. Political scientist Guillermo
Holzman said Bachelet's trip is consistent with Chile's multilateral
foreign policy and its desire to open to Asia, where Russia plays an
important role as member of APEC (El Mostrador, on-line news agency,
11/25).

SIMONS

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