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Chilean President to deliver annual state of the nation address


Chilean President to deliver annual state of the nation address

Chile Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera will deliver the annual state of the nation address today, as COVID-19 continues to squeeze the domestic economy.

Piñera’s speech, which was postponed from June 1 due to an increasing number of infections, will be shaped by pressing issues such as the management of the ongoing health crisis, disputes within the ruling parliamentary coalition and the prospects for a highly anticipated plebiscite and associated constitutional reform.

The pandemic has severely exacerbated inequities in Chile, with unemployment reaching a decade-high 11% and 2020 contraction forecasts landing around -7.5%. As such, Piñera is likely to focus on measures to boost employment and benefit an ailing middle class, small and medium-sized companies and lower income brackets.

Piñera’s announcements are expected to define a clear legislative agenda to expand April’s $17.1 billion package and the $1.5 billion stimulus implemented in the last few weeks. This will likely include broader access to zero-interest loans, subsidised rent and university payments, heftier unemployment checks and mortgage payment deferrals.

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