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Cablegate: Santiago Feb. 10 Media Report

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DE RUEHSG #0200/01 0412031
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 102030Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0866
INFO RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO

UNCLAS SANTIAGO 000200

SIPDIS
STATE FOR R/MR, I/PP, WHA/BSC, WHA/PDA, INR/IAA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON KMDR KPAO PGOV PREL SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: Santiago Feb. 10 Media Report

Lead Story

1. Sebasti????n Pi????era announced his new cabinet: 6 women,
most
are Catholic University alumni, and eleven have graduate studies in
the United States, primarily from Harvard and the University of
Chicago (All dailies, 2/10).

2. Pi????era's cabinet members: undergraduate and graduate
degrees

Interior: Rodrigo Hinzpeter (attorney)

Foreign Affairs: Alfredo Moreno (civil engineer, MBA
University of Chicago)

Defense: Jaime Ravinet (attorney)

Finance: Felipe Larrain (commercial engineer, PhD. in
economics, Harvard University)

Secretary General-Presidency: Cristian Larroulet (commercial
engineer, University of Chicago)

Secretary General to the Government - Spokesperson: Ena von
Baer (journalist)

Economy: Juan Andres Fontaine (commercial engineer, PhD.
University of Chicago)

Planning: Felipe Kast (commercial engineer, PhD, Harvard
University)

Education: Joaquin Lavin (commercial engineer, University of
Chicago)

Justice: Felipe Bulnes (attorney, law degree from Harvard)

Labor: Camila Merino (civil engineer, PhD. Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, MIT);

Public Works: Hernan de Solminihac (civil engineer, PhD.,
University of Texas)

Health: Jaime Ma????alich (physician)

Housing: Magdalena Matte (civil engineer)

Agriculture: Jose Antonio Galilea (agricultural technician,
entrepreneur)

Mining: Laurence Golborne (civil engineer, Stanford
University)

Transportation: Felipe Morand???? (commercial engineer, PhD,
University of Minnesota)

State Property: Catalina Parot (attorney, Masters in
political science)

Women's Affairs: Carolina Schmidt (commercial engineer,
marketing degree from NYU)

Culture: Luciano Cruz-Coke (actor)

Environment: Maria Ignacia Benitez (chemical engineer)

Chairman National Energy: Ricardo Raineri (commercial
engineer, Masters in economics, University of Minnesota)

3. Felipe Kast (Planning) is the youngest cabinet member

appointed. He studied economics at

Catholic University and studied a year at the University of
Havana in Cuba to work on issues related to poverty. His family has
close ties to the Schoenstatt Catholic movement. Golborne (Mining)
has strong entrepreneurial ties and is known for his financial
skills and ability to raise money to finance expansion projects.
Galilea (Agriculture) is an agriculture entrepreneur and former
congressman from the Ninth Region, where the percentage of votes in
the presidential election was considerably high. (El Mercurio,
2/10).

4. Three of the new cabinet members are deans: Larroulet
(business school, Universidad del

Desarrollo), Morande (business school, Univ. of Chile), and
Solminihac (engineering school, Catholic University). Most new
members are from the business sector and only one -- Jaime Ravinet
in defense-- is a former Concertacion government minister. Six are
from out of Santiago (Diario Financiero, 2/10).

Headlines:

5. "Business capability and (political) independence prevail
in Pi????era's cabinet" (Diario Financiero, 2/10); "Pi????era forms a
cabinet of general managers for Chile --wide representation of CEOs
and chairmen of private corporations in the cabinet"
(government-owned La Nacion, 2/10); "Pi????era selects independents
with high executive and professional level" (El Mercurio,2/10);
"Pi????era includes former Christian Democratic Party minister in his
cabinet" (El Mercurio,2/10); "Entrepreneurs, academics, and
independents in Pi????era's first cabinet" (El Mercurio); --
"Political Independence and a strong executive and professional
seal plus high academic standards define Pi????era's first cabinet"
(El Mercurio, 2/10); Pi????era puts together team of professionals
from the private and conservative sectors" (La Nacion, 2/10).

6. The Christian Democratic Party (PDC) reacted immediately to
Jaime Ravinet's appointment to defense. Ravinet has been a PDC
member for at least forty years and was cabinet member of the
Concertacion government. Party President Juan Carlos Latorre said,
"This is embarrassing. He is a black sheep in the group." Ravinet
said he had resigned from the party a few hours before the ceremony
with "sadness," because although he "shares the party's principles,
he does not share the political decisions and program resolutions
that the party has made in past years." He added, "It is important
to show Chileans that it is possible to have a government of unity"
(El Mercurio, 2/10).

7. Felipe Larrain has become the "strong man" of fiscal
policy. In his remarks after the ceremony, Larrain said that one of
his priorities is to create one million jobs in the next four
years. "We must recover the ability to grow, which has been lost,"
he said. (El Mercurio, 2/10).

8. Pi????era's new cabinet is formed mainly by entrepreneurs and
CEOs from the private sector. Of the seven political ministries,
only Galilea --in agriculture -- has political experience as former
congressman. The new cabinet is also academically highly qualified.
Most have graduate studies abroad, especially the United States (El
Mercurio, 2/10).

9. This new cabinet has the highest number of non-partisan

members over the last twenty years. Most are Catholic University
alumni and half completed graduate studies abroad, primarily at
Harvard and the University of Chicago (El Mercurio, 2/10).

10. Alfredo Moreno, appointed to foreign affairs, is well known
for his negotiating skills and ability to assess and resolve
complex issues, but he has no experience in foreign affairs. In
diplomatic circles there is confidence that Pi????era will appoint a
career diplomat as undersecretary to make up for Moreno's lack of
experience in the field. "In past years, the country has undergone
an important commercial openness... The president wants ...the
benefits of those policies to reach the common citizen," said
Moreno, who has also been instructed to modernize the foreign
ministry to promote the appointment of career diplomats (La
Tercera 2/10).

11. Camila Merino (Labor) was the big surprise in this cabinet.
She has no political affiliation and is not familiar with the labor
sector. That is exactly what union leaders are criticizing, saying
they would have preferred someone with "more political experience
in relations with workers." But in the academic area, Merino is
well known and respected. She has an MBA from the Sloan School of
Management from MIT (La Tercera, 2/10).

12. "Pi????era has chosen people of great professional and
academic expertise and with proven experience in their fields....
Several of the new ministers lack public experience, but have one
thing in common and that is that they have active and long-term
ties to public policy.... There are grounded expectations on the
professional ability of this new cabinet... and without undermining
the obvious goal of achieving technical excellence, it deems
necessary for the new president to also move forward on working
with political parties.... Political parties legitimately exist to
govern and they must feel that in fact they are, but together with
the independent professionals and never behind them" (Editorial, El
Mercurio, 2/10).

13. Economist Sebastian Edwards lauds the professional excellence
of the new cabinet, but warns over the lack of political experience
of its members: "Trying to govern without political parties never
works" (El Mercurio, 2/10).

14. In his remarks after naming his cabinet, Pi????era recognized
the
Concertaci????n's achievements by stating, "We will not start from
scratch. Many changes are already underway, but there is still a
long road ahead." Pi????era also quoted Concertacion President
Patricio Aylwin: "What Chile needs from us is to keep what is good,
change what is wrong, and improve what needs to be improved" (La
Tercera, 2/10).

15. Commentary on the appointment of Jaime Ravinet, a Christian
Democrat and former Lagos minister of defense: "By appointing
Ravinet, Pi????era fulfilled his promise of including people of the
Concertacion in his cabinet, although Ravinet is one of the
ministers with the weakest ties to that coalition in the past 20
years... Pi????era and Ravinet share some traits. Both emphasize
efficiency and management, forgetting that government is
essentially about politics. This could be a mistake, but in the
area of defense the approach is correct" (NYU professor Patricio
Navia, La Tercera, 2/10).

16. "The future ministers all have outstanding careers in their
respective professional and

political fields. It would, therefore, be desirable to appoint
undersecretaries or heads of services who can complement the
ministers with their knowledge in management or politics, depending
on each case" (Editorial, La Tercera, 2/10).
URBAN

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