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Cablegate: Chile Media Report -- December 5

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TAGS: KMDR KPAO PGOV ECON PREL PGOV SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: CHILE MEDIA REPORT -- DECEMBER 5

Lead Stories
------------
1. Front-page news highlighted Ricardo Lagos' announcement that he
would not run as a presidential candidate for the Concertacion bloc.
Dailies also noted the ceremony in Punta Arenas between Presidents
Bachelet and Fernandez to commemorate Pope John Paul II's successful
mediation to prevent a war between the two countries in 1978.

U.S.-Related News
-----------------
2. Photo of Admiral Gary Roughead and Ambassador Simons at the Navy
fair Exponaval 2008, which is taking place this week in Valparaiso
(El Mercurio, conservative, influential newspaper-of-record, circ.
129,000, 12/5).

Local
-----
3. Ricardo Lagos called a press conference to announce that he
would not run as a presidential candidate for the Concertacion bloc.
"I am not and will not be a presidential candidate," said Lagos.
He hinted that his decision is because of the coalition's inability
to unite behind any one candidate. Lagos said he would campaign for
the Concertacion's candidate, whomever that person is (La Segunda,
conservative, afternoon, circ. 33,000, 12/4).

4. Lagos' decision has the PPD-PS bloc in disarray, because both
parties will have to decide whether to endorse Eduardo Frei (DC) or
Jose Miguel Insulza (PS) as their presidential candidate. Senator
Guido (PPD) proposed presenting a third alternative candidate.
Eugenio Tironi, also PPD, said the bloc should try to reach a
consensus by consensus without a primary. Insulza, meanwhile, said
one of his terms to become a presidential candidate is for the bloc
to work united. With Lagos' announcement, the UDI's perception is
that the opposition's chances to win the 2009 presidential election
have not changed (El Mercurio, conservative, 12/5).

5. Enrique Correa (PS) said he is certain that Lagos' decision is
final and that the Concertacion's primary will be held between
Eduardo Frei and Insulza (La Tercera, conservative, independent,
circ. 101,000, 12/5).

6. "I am available as a candidate if it is an element of unity and
with sufficient support in the Concertacion," said Jose Miguel
Insulza after Lagos' announcement. PS President Camilo Escalona
urged Insulza to announce whether he intends to run as soon as
possible (El Mercurio, 12/5).

7. Fundacion PROhumana conducted a survey on people's perception on
how businesses, government, and civil society are doing in the area
of social responsibility. The Kellogg and Ford Foundations financed
the project. The survey showed that 54% do not know what the
concept of social responsibility entails. Therefore, the
participants were read a definition and then asked to respond the
survey.

8. Both the business and the government sectors were poorly rated,
but citizens rated themselves as doing "significantly better" in
this area. The poor rating for the business sector is mainly
because of the perception that companies in general are not
concerned with the environment, while they are mostly responsible
for pollution. With regard to the government, public entities are
generally perceived as honestly concerned with people's needs, but
lacking the skills to do things right or to fulfill their
commitments in this area. The best graded public entities were
municipalities, with 29% support. In the area of social
organizations, Greenpeace was by far the best rated entity (69%)
(Que Pasa, weekly news magazine, 12/5).

9. Bachelet presented today the National Climate Change Action
Plan, which includes an array of proposals for the 2008-2010 period.
The project has a thorough analysis on the impact of climate change
on energy, agricultural and fishing resources, biodiversity, and the
coastal area. It also proposes strategies for better control of the
Yellow Fever, Dengue, Malaria, the creation of a registry of
glaciers, and the construction of desalinization plants up north to
supply water (El Mercurio, 12/5).

Chile and Other Countries: Argentina, Cuba, Peru
--------------------------------------------- ----
10. Presidents Bachelet and Fernandez meet in Punta Arenas and will
travel to Monte Aymond in Argentina for a ceremony to commemorate
the resolution of a border conflict that had both countries on the
verge of a war in 1978. The conflict was solved thanks to the
intervention of Pope John Paul II. Cardinal Odilio Sherer will
speak on behalf of the Catholic Church and the two Presidents will
set the first stone of a monument (El Mercurio, 12/5).

11. President Bachelet appointed Gabriel Gaspar (PS) Ambassador to
Cuba. Gaspar will replace Jaime Toha who was appointed Intendente
of the VIII Region. Gaspar went into exile a year after the
military coup and lived in Mexico. He was one of the founders of
the MAPU and has close ties with political sectors on the island (La
Tercera, 12/5).

12. Peruvian General Edwin Donayre, responsible for making
inflammatory remarks about Chile, officially retired today. The
General, however, was not sanctioned for his remarks (El Mercurio,
12/5).

URBAN

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