Why Chileans demand more from government than just economic success

Sebastian Pinera, the most unpopular president in Chile for 23 years (photo:dpa)
Sebastian Pinera, the most unpopular president in Chile for 23 years (photo:dpa)

Former American President Bill Clinton’s oft-quoted maxim, ‘it’s the economy stupid’, gave weight to the received wisdom that stability and political success automatically follow economic success. But Chile, it seems, is an exception. The young generation, in particular, has been staging a wave of anti-government protests, and the country’s president, Sebastian Pinera, is deeply unpopular. Yet Chile has the second highest per capita income in Latin America, and its economic growth ranks among the top 20 countries in the world. Guest writer Genaro Arriagada, a senior fellow of the Inter American Dialogue in Washington D.C., former Minister of the Presidency and former Ambassador to the United States, analyses the issues.

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