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Cablegate: Santiago Feb. 17 Meda Report

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DE RUEHSG #0224/01 0481803
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R 171802Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0904
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
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RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA
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RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO

UNCLAS SANTIAGO 000224

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON KMDR KPAO PGOV PREL SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: Santiago Feb. 17 Meda Report

Lead Story

1. President-elect Sebasti????n Pi????era sold 9.7% of his
shares in
Las Condes medical clinic for US$37 million (Financial daily Diario
Financiero, 2/17).

Haiti

2. Brazilian Foreign Minister Amorim arrived in Santiago last
week with two proposals. He proposed to President-elect Pi????era
the
creation of a joint initiative to rebuild public buildings in
Port-au-Prince. In another meeting with his Chilean counterpart
Mariano Fernandez, Amorim submitted a proposal for President
Bachelet to work with former President Clinton to coordinate
international aid to Haiti. Brazil's idea if for Bachelet to act
as Latin America's representative and eventually add a European
official (Conservative, independent La Tercera, 2/17).

3. The underlying goal of Brazil's proposal for Bachelet to
join Clinton is to create an international cooperation agency for
the island, in the framework of United Nations. Bachelet not only
wants to know more about Lula's proposal, she also wants to hear
what the U.S. government and Clinton have to say about the
initiative. Chile has already approved a Colombian proposal,
whereby every country in the region would take responsibility for
one particular region and issue in Haiti. Meanwhile, La Moneda is
stirred by rumors that Lula will announce a reconstruction plan for
Haiti together with President-elect Pi????era (El Mercurio, 2/17)

Pi????era

4. Last Friday, Pi????era confirmed that the first country he
would travel to after swearing-in would be Brazil. In that context,
Pi????era said now he would visit Argentina twice over the next
weeks:
Before swearing-in and the following week as he returns from
Brazil. His trips are intended as a gesture to Argentine President
Kirchner, who has sent Pi????era the message that she hopes he would
follow the steps of his predecessors and visit Buenos Aires before
traveling to another country (El Mercurio, 2/27).

5. Sources said that Pi????era will name well-known Concertacion
officials as undersecretaries. The acting president of the
Christian Democratic Party (PDC), Ren????n Fuentealba, said that
Pi????era's attempt to recruit more people from his party "has no
other purpose but to destroy" the PDC party (Conservative,
independent La Tercera, 2/17).

6. Pi????era's 9.7% shares of Las Condes medical clinic were
sold
yesterday for US$37 million. This is the first company from which
Pi????era had disassociated himself. His other investments are:

- 100% of television station Chilevision. He announced
that he would transfer the station to a non-profit foundation, but
would retain the authority to name the foundation's board.

- Lan Chile airlines. There is already an agreement to sell his
26.3% shares to the Cueto family, but the transaction has not yet
occurred.

- Colo Colo soccer team: Pi????era said he would not sell his
share of the team, but has yet to determine what mechanism he will

use to maintain ownership (Financial Diario Financiero, 2/17).

Chile-Peru

7. Chile will launch its own Terrestrial Observations
Satellite System (SSOT, in Spanish) at the end of 2010. But
Peruvian daily El Comercio expressed concern that the satellite
would be used for military and intelligence purposes against Peru
(Afternoon, conservative La Segunda, 2/16).

Iran

8. Headline: "Rapid increase in the temperature of the
nuclear debate -- Iranian President warns that his country would
respond if the Security Council applies new sanctions"

Subheadline: U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen
admitted that military action against Iran "is a possibility," but
added that what prevails is the search for a diplomatic solution.
Meanwhile, President Obama announced yesterday the construction of
the first atomic energy plant in the U.S. in the last thirty years"
(Government-owned La Nacion, 2/17).

9. Headline: "Everyone wants Brazil to get involved": The
Iranian president and a group of U.S. congressmen agreed for Brazil
to act as mediator in the controversy over Teheran's nuclear
programs, but for different reasons. In a press conference,
Ahmadinejad stressed that Brazil and Iran are similar in that "both
want to change things." Republican Congressman Roger Walker, on
the other hand, said, "It would be good if Brazil and other
countries can exert more pressure to persuade Iran to leave the
search for nuclear weapons" (La Nacion, 2/17).

Greece

10. Editorial: "The magnitude of the disaster in Greece ... has
reached unforeseeable levels.... The key now is for the economic
authorities to realize that this is an economic, political, and
social dilemma, as citizen demonstrations are showing" (Diario
Financiero, 2/17).

Obama-Nuclear Plants

11. Headline: "Obama puts the U.S. back on the path to nuclear
energy by announcing (the construction of) the first (nuclear)
plant in 30 years"

The U.S. President intends to come out of the economic crisis using
alternative energy. Many companies had stopped using this type of
energy due to the high costs invovled, the opposition of
environmental groups, and safety issues (El Mercurio, 2/17).

12. Headline: "Obama announces the first nuclear plant in the
United States in over 30 years"

Subheadline: The U.S. president will issue guarantees on loans for
US$8 billion to build two nuclear plants in the state of Georgia.
The White House hopes to create 3,000 new jobs with this project
(Diario Financiero, 2/17).
SIMONS

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