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Weekly Report - 30 July 2020 (WR-20-30)

CHILE: Piñera turns to big beasts to revive fortunes

As we go to press on 30 July Chileans are starting to withdraw up to 10% of funds from their pension pots after an acrimonious struggle in congress resulted in defeat for the government. A week earlier, the lower chamber voted overwhelmingly in favour of the pension bill, introduced by the political opposition and backed by increasing numbers of rebel legislators from the ruling right-of-centre Chile Vamos coalition. This left President Sebastián Piñera with an unenviable choice: promulgate the bill he bitterly opposed, or risk igniting a fresh wave of popular protests by vetoing it, or filing a legal challenge against it before the constitutional tribunal (TC). He opted for the former course of action. And, in an attempt to forestall future rebellions, he then conducted a sweeping cabinet reshuffle, bringing in bigwigs from every congressional faction in the coalition.

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