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Cablegate: Santiago Dec. 24 Media Report

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON KMDR KPAO PGOV PREL SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: Santiago Dec. 24 media report

Lead Story

1. Christmas sales are up 10% compared to 2008 and reached
levels prior to the fall of Lehman Brothers, according to the
National Chamber of Commerce (Conservative, independent La
Tercera, 12/24).

Former President Frei's Death

2. The Supreme Court's second Room has asked to see the files of
the investigation of former President Eduardo Frei's death before
dictating a resolution regarding the appeal for legal protection
filed by the four individuals charged in Frei's homicide. Asked
about the court's reasons for the request, the president of the
Second Room Nibaldo Segura said it has to do with questions about
"accountability, the crime, and facts. Everything" (Conservative,
influential El Mercurio, 12/24).

Chile - Bolivia

3. President Bachelet will travel to Bolivia on January 22 for
Evo Morales' swearing-in ceremony (El Mercurio, 12/24).

Local Politics

4. The president of the Workers Central Union (CUT), Arturo
Martinez, said that the Bachelet administration "has been the worst
of all Concertacion administrations with regard to labor issues."
The reason, he said, are the series of unresolved issues. "The
labor defense project never went to Congress, or the creation of a
State Pension Fund for workers, labor reforms to strengthen
collective negotiations, or financing of union training....
Bachelet felt more comfortable traveling with entrepreneurs abroad
(to look for markets)," said Martinez with regret (El Mercurio,
12/24).

5. Column by University of Notre Dame professor J. Samuel
Valenzuela on the presidential election in Chile: "In the first
presidential round... one thing stands out and that is Marco
Enriquez-Ominami's relative victory .... Where did
Enriquez-Ominami's votes come from? ... Easy. The first
presidential round was a de facto Concertacion primary.... The
massive turnout for Enriquez-Ominami could become a victory and
have a true long-lasting potential if he were to stay in the
Concertacion, which is where the votes and the party that made it
possible for him to take off as a congressman are rooted....
Enriquez-Ominami could become a key element in the future of the
Concertacion. But unless he is part of the coalition and of a party
that enables him to act within that coalition, he will become a
fallen Phoenix" (La Tercera, 12/24).
SIMONS

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