Chilean President Gabriel Boric celebrated his first year at La Moneda this Saturday with a clear message to his newly reformed Cabinet: improve management. The president has recognized that one of the main reasons for changing five of his ministers the previous day – for “experienced people, who know the State” – has been the need to carry out public policies that improve the lives of the citizens. The Administration reaches its first anniversary this March 11, convalescing from the defeat suffered this week in Congress, which rejected the tax reform in its first legislative process, essential to finance a large part of its campaign promises. It is expected that next week they will define whether to take the initiative to the Senate, controlled by the opposition, wait another year to discuss it or carry out certain measures through precise laws.
After leading the first political committee of this new stage this Saturday, Boric, accompanied by his 24 ministers, left La Moneda to greet hundreds of supporters who gathered in the Plaza de la Constitución with flags, balloons and stuffed animals. In a tour of almost 50 minutes, the authorities received a psychic injection after the greatest legislative failure of this Administration. The president himself made his balance, acknowledging that 2022 “was not easy.” “There were own mistakes, very difficult external conditions, a fragmented Parliament, a political system that is creaking and advances of forces that make it difficult to find the agreements we need… But we have to insist with even more force”, he affirmed.
While the president and the ministers received hugs and took selfies With his followers, on the other side of La Moneda, some 200 government opponents, according to Carabineros estimates, were calling for Boric’s resignation while waving Chilean flags. Later, the president warned his team: “Be careful, we are not working only for those who support us. We are working for everyone. For those who were today in the Plaza de la Constitución, but also for those who were in the Plaza de la Ciudadanía”, where the opponents gathered.
The face-to-face meeting with supporters allowed the ministers to discuss at length the resolutions for the second year. Finance Minister Mario Marcel reaffirmed the idea of concentrating efforts on management. “The message is to be a government of actions, not announcements,” he said. The cries of those gathered against the “junk press” made it difficult to hear the person in charge of the Treasury’s wallet. On the failure of the tax reform, Marcel recalled that the project of the royalty mining is ready to be discussed in the Senate and the regional income and green taxes should be prepared at the end of the month.
The Minister of the General Secretariat of the Presidency, Ana Lya Uriarte, responsible for relations with Parliament, assured that they are evaluating the steps to follow for the tax reform. “It is very important to make it clear that as a government we have a minority in both chambers,” which is why dialogue with the opposition is essential. Along these lines, the president maintained that they are available to talk. “But we need more disposition and that people understand that in order to finance social resources it is necessary to distribute the resources in a better way and that is where we are at,” he stressed.
The very followers of the Government who came to La Moneda demanded a tax reform, as well as the reduction of the working day from 45 to 40 hours. This bill has managed to advance at a steady pace and seems to have cross-sectoral support in the Senate, so it could be approved soon. In a meeting in the afternoon with the ministers and undersecretaries – 15 of the 39 appointed on Friday – the president said that he wanted to “demand” that public policies be directed so that citizens can see the changes in their day to day. “Don’t think about the election, think about the next generation. To win elections you have to do the right thing job (work) and that people recognize us”, stressed the president.
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