Chile’s leader confesses 'lack of vision' amid protests
Amid ongoing violent demonstrations against a metro price hike in Chile, the president apologized to citizens for "lack of vision" to solve problems accumulating for decades.
"We humbly accept legitimate social demands and messages that Chileans have delivered," Sebastian Pinera said in a Twitter post on late Tuesday.
"It is true that problems were accumulating for decades and the different governments were not able to recognize the situation in all its magnitude," Pinera confessed. "I recognize and apologize for that lack of vision."
Emphasizing that the current government heard "loud and clear" voice of people who are "peacefully expressing their problems, pains, dreams and hopes for a better life," the president announced a new social agenda.
The new agenda includes a 20% increase in pensions, amendment in the Catastrophic Disease Insurance which state will cover the costs of expensive medical treatments, increase in the minimum wage, a new higher tax bracket, and cut in electricity rates.
A 4% price hike in metro fares led last week Chilean protesters jump over turnstiles without paying for tickets at metro stations in the capital Santiago.
Half of Chile's workers make $550 or less monthly, according to the country's statistics authority.
At least 15 people died, with most of the deaths were caused during Sunday's looting when shops set on fire.
The Chilean government declared a 15-day state of emergency on Saturday, extending it later from north to south.