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Cablegate: Santiago Sept. 24 Media Report

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SUBJECT: Santiago Sept. 24 Media Report

Lead

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1. All dailies ran extensive coverage of the first
presidential debate aired last night on National Television TVN.

American Competitiveness Forum

-----------------------------------------

2. In a video conference from Washington organized by the U.S.
Embassy , Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for the
Western Hemisphere Walter Bastian spoke about the goals of the
American Competitiveness Forum due to begin next week in Santiago.
He stressed that the objective of the forum is to increase
integration among nations and organizations to promote
competitiveness, and said he hopes it does not turn into a
discussion about policy. Bastian noted Chile's progress and success
in the area of agricultural with regard to products and sanitary
elements (PAS video conference, Financial daily Estrategia, 9/24).

3. DAS Walter Bastian said that the Chile-U.S. free trade
agreement has increased trade by 340% , which makes it "the most
successful" the United States has had. Bastian underscored that
Chile has been highly effective in developing new markets, but
added that its efforts should focus on diversifying exports to
non-traditional destinations and not just on increasing penetration
of the U.S. market (PAS video conference, conservative, influential
El Mercurio, 9/24).

4. DAS Walter Bastian explained that the goal of the Americas
Competitiveness Forum is to bring together entrepreneurs from the
region to discuss the elements that are crucial for business. "It
is not debate about policy or economics. This is about finding ways
to improve competitiveness in this hemisphere," said Bastian (Video
conference, Invertia. com, 9/24).

Bachelet at United Nations

--------------------------------

5. In her address to the U. N. General Assembly yesterday,
President Bachelet rejected the inequities created by the
"neoliberal economic model" and its inability to resolve social
problems created by the crisis. "The economic crisis was no
accident and much less a cycle of the capitalist economy... It was
the crisis of a certain kind of globalization" said Bachelet. She
called on the international community to address one major issue:
"Social collapse cannot follow economic collapse" (Government-owned
La Nacion, 9/24).

6. At the U.N. General Assembly yesterday, President Bachelet
harshly criticized the response of developed countries to the
financial crisis and set Chile as an example of how to mitigate the
social effects of this crisis. She questioned the decision of some
to use the crisis as "an excuse" to decrease their funding to
United Nations food programs. "What a paradox, we only need 0.1% of
the financial bailout programs to end the food crisis in dozens of
countries," said Bachelet. She also criticized the attitude of
those CEOs with responsibility in the financial crisis for
assigning themselves million-dollar bonuses, "it's an insult to
ethics," she said (El Mercurio, 9/24).

Energy

---------

7. In June the Supreme Court ruled that the environmental permit
allowing AES Gener to build a thermo-electric plant in Puchuncavi
was illegal and yesterday, the Municipality of Puchuncavi notified
AES Gener that it must demolish part of its facility, because it
does not have the required building permits (La Tercera, 9/24).

Presidential Debate

------------------------

8. Eduardo Frei and Sebastian Pinera had a tough exchange in last
night's presidential debate. Frei cited a Transparency
International report released yesterday that makes reference to a
fine applied by the Securities and Stocks Regulator against Pinera
for buying Lan Chile shares in July 2006, using privileged
information (La Tercera, 9/24).

9. Transparency International cited Sebastian Pinera in its annual
report on corruption, mentioning that the Securities and Stocks
Regulator accused him in 2006 of using privileged information to
buy commercial airline Lan Chile shares (El Mercurio, 9/24).
URBAN

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