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Cablegate: Chile Media Report: December 2

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR KPAO PGOV ECON PREL PGOV SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: CHILE MEDIA REPORT: DECEMBER 2

Lead Stories
------------
1. The front pages highlighted a Health Ministry epidemiology
report that reveals the AIDS cases in Chile increased by 42% between
2006 and 2007. Separate headlines noted the government will submit
a new education law to Congress today.

U.S.-Related News
-----------------
2. Experts concur that Hillary Clinton's "brand name" and Obama's
international popularity will succeed in improving the U.S. image
abroad (El Mercurio, conservative, influential newspaper-of-record,
circ. 129,000, 12/2).

3. Obama did not improvise and appointed six highly-experienced
individuals to his cabinet. Although their names were no surprise,
their appointment had a very powerful political effect (La Tercera,
conservative, independent, circ. 101,000, 12/2).

4. Editorial entitled, "The U.S. President-Elect's Foreign Policy
Appointments":

"The President-elect announced his National Security team, including
those who will be responsible for foreign affairs and defense....
The appointment of the Senator of New York (Clinton)... is a signal
for those who support and still believe in her leadership. And the
confirmation of the Secretary of Defense, whose work has been well
evaluated, is a powerful sign of a bipartisan spirit.... Both
appointments are important, because the two most important
challenges that the new president will face will be in the
international arena. He will have to implement diplomacy to help
repair the image of the United States in the community of nations
and to withdraw successfully form Iraq.... The new president knows
that his unprecedented international support is based on the belief
that under his command Washington's foreign policy will be
fundamentally different from that of his predecessor... that is,
multilateral, with less emphasis on military resources and greater
awareness of the interests of other actors.... The international
challenges for the new White House will be to carry out the changes
promised, while still protecting U.S. interest abroad" (La Tercera,
12/2).

5. General Electric (GE) regional CEO Alejandro Bottan says that
the region's economic growth in the past five to ten years has
increased demand for consumer products that GE produces. Bottan
noted the company is especially active in the area of alternative
energies and hopes to incorporate eolic and solar energy technology
in the future and nuclear energy in the midterm (El Mercurio, 12/2).


6. Finnish company Stuk Radiation and Nuclear Safety won the
government's bid a few days ago to draft the regulatory framework
for the possible use of nuclear energy in Chile. Julio Vergara of
Chile's National Energy Commission underscored Finland's experience
in the construction of nuclear reactors. He said that in Finland a
license is issued to build the reactor and another to operate it,
while in the United States a combined license is issued to build and
operate the reactors. The U.S. process "is more direct and
predictable for investors, while under the Finnish model the terms
can change," said Vergara (La Tercera, 12/2).

Cuba
----
7. President Bachelet said that as in previous official trips, she
expected opposition congressmen to join the delegation traveling
with her to Cuba. Opposition Senators Jovino Novoa (UDI) and Sergio
Romero (RN) said they see no problem with this "if and when" the
President met with Cuban dissidents. Novoa also said the President
should give assurances that she will discuss human rights and the
release of political prisoners with the Cuban government (La
Segunda, conservative, afternoon, circ. 33,000, 12/1).

8. Current Ambassador to Cuba Jaime Toha, recently appointed
Intendente for the VIII Region, said he would have liked to see more
initiative on the part of Chilean investors to seize the business
opportunities on the island under the framework of the bilateral
Economic Strategic Cooperation Agreement. Toha said that the
President's upcoming trip to Havana is a good chance to explore
those opportunities (El Mercurio, 12/2).

AIDS
----
9. A Health Ministry epidemiology report shows that from 2006 to
2007 HIV cases increased 42%. A total of 18,000 people have
contracted the virus. One third of the cases are people between
30-39 years of age who have a high level of education. 90% of the
cases were sexually transmitted. 33.8% of the cases are the result
of heterosexual relations (La Tercera, 12/2).

Education
---------
10. The new education bill will be presented to the lower chamber
today, two years after massive student demonstrations demanded the
elimination of the existing law. The new bill transfers the
administration of public schools, from the municipalities to
government agencies in each region exclusively focused on education
(La Nacion, government-owned, editorially independent, circ, 4,200,
12/2).

11. The mayors of municipalities that have been successful in
administering public schools in their communities said the new bill
will be a setback, because it will undermine the progress achieved
thus far. They also criticize the Executive Office for not
discussing or consulting the bill with them (El Mercurio, 12/2).

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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