The former candidate for Chilean president and founder of the Humanist Party, Tomás Hirsch, said: “It is a people who have lived on a miserable salary, with unbearable pensions that do not allow them to live, with rising electricity, water, gas, and transportation prices. Here profound, structural and urgent changes are required. Today, the government and the right wing have no choice but to accept this,” said the Congressman for the Frente Amplio.
What is the situation like, with 2000 detainees and 15 deaths?
“The situation is very curious, we are deeply worried, but we are also hopeful, because you see a people that woke up. That for thirty years has been abused, mistreated, have been sold the image that we are the modern, the developed, the free trade agreements ones,” he said.
“And yet, it is a people who have lived on a miserable salary, with unbearable pensions that do not allow them to live, with a rise in light, water, gas and transport prices. With the most expensive medicines in Latin America, with brutal social inequity. It is a situation that, at some point, was going to explode, and there has been that overflow with a drop that overflowed the glass, which was the Metro fare.
“The whole country is being mobilised. Only a week ago it was announced that Chile was an oasis in Latin America. Please, with 17 dead, with the military in the street pointing at the people, with a president who calls for dialogue and that we have said we are not going to do as long as the military are pointing at the people. Here, profound, structural and urgent changes are required. Today, the government and the right wing have no choice but to accept this,” he said.
The different democratic governments, from what you tell us, have not substantially modified the model.
“The miracle, for me, has been how they have managed to sell the lie. I was a spokesman for humanism worldwide. I had to travel around the world explaining the other side of the supposed success, that success they sold abroad, but they never told me that retirees receive pensions that do not allow them to live, that they would continue to take away their land of the Mapuche people, that students live in debt because we have one of the most expensive education systems in the world, because it is a consumer good,” he said.
“They have not shown the other side of the coin. Although the country has grown, it has a good macroeconomy, but let’s understand, a family doesn’t live on macroeconomics, it doesn’t eat macroeconomics. A family lives on a salary or pension and that is absolutely insufficient, we have one of the most unequal income distributions on the planet. With this inequality, this cannot resist any longer.
“We have proposed drastically lowering the salaries of parliamentarians because it is a disgrace what we earn with respect to the country’s average. We have proposed profoundly changing the pension system, that we have to lower and set by law the tariff for medicines, that we have to remove VAT from remedies, that we have to increase the minimum wage,” he concluded.
Translation Pressenza London