Chilean President Sebastian Piñera announced $ 4.5 billion in additional stimulus packages to help ease the effects of the pandemic and warned against a tendency to populism, while the country’s population is taking advantage of a new rule that allows withdrawing pension funds.
Speaking to congressmen, Piñera said that public investment in 2020-2022 will reach US $ 34 billion, of which US $ 4.5 billion had not been announced previously.
The center-right leader warned against populist solutions to Chile’s economic problems, which include huge inequalities and a recession made worse by the impact of the covid-19.
“The whole world is being threatened by populism, which always offers the easy way of rights without duties, of achievements without effort,” he said, warning against “promises of easy solutions to difficult problems”.
More than 3 million Chileans on Thursday asked to withdraw part of their pension funds after a law came into force allowing citizens to take advantage of retirement savings.
The Piñera government opposed the emergency measure. He also warned of the long-term impact on profitability and already low average pension payments.
Despite the appeals, opinion polls indicate almost nine out of ten Chileans are thinking of taking advantage of the fund’s amounts. Most said they would use the money to pay for basic goods and services.
“The effect that the coronavirus and the global recession had on our economy, and Chilean families, were devastating, “said the president.