Santiago de Chile, Sept. 19, 2015: President Michelle Bachelet’s ambitious social and political reforms have been hampered by conservative opponents and an economic slump (source: dpa)

Bachelet contends with copper and conservatives to keep Chilean reforms on track

Michelle Bachelet is vowing not to give up on the social overhaul of Chile’s free-market model that won her a second term as the country’s president in 2013. Yet the collapse of global copper prices has largely deprived her of the money to pay for the reforms, while a financial scandal has cost her political clout. President Bachelet’s biggest challenge in 2016 will be to keep even a scaled-down version of her package intact.

Yogi Berra, the famous baseball player, is reported to have said: ‘When you come to a fork in the road, take it.’ That seems to be President Bachelet’s answer to the political dilemma she confronts. To have it both ways, she will need to use all of her considerab...

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Dr. Joseph S. Tulchin
The impact of copper prices cannot be overstated. Chile’s economic boom in the first decade of the 21st century was fuelled by a historic rise in the price of the commodity, which accounts for more than 50 per cent of Chile’s exports
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