Chile and Germany: partners also in turbulent times

Protests in Chile, 9 November 2019, © MAXPPP

12.11.2019 - Article

Chile is an important and reliable partner for the Federal Republic, both within Latin America and further afield. The two countries share fundamental values such as democracy and support for a multilateral world order.

Particularly at a time when this order is coming under pressure from many sides, Chile and Germany are working to promote free, rules-based global trade and the implementation of the United Nations climate goals. Chile’s engagement is taking place within the framework of the Latin America and Caribbean initiative launched by Foreign Minister Maas, which is designed to intensify cooperation between the region and like-minded partners in Europe and elsewhere.

Germany is willing to provide support

Against the backdrop of the ongoing domestic political tensions in Chile, today Foreign Minister Maas spoke to his colleague Teodoro Ribera on the phone and assured him that Germany will continue to stand by Chile even during difficult times. Maas welcomed the efforts undertaken by President Sebastián Piñera to resolve the crisis and his assurance that he will investigate accusations of excessive use of violence by the security forces against protesters and cooperate with the international mission of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to this end. Maas said that this emphasised the functionality of the rule of law in Chile. He stressed that Germany was willing to provide support if Chile needed it.

Striving for domestic compromise

For some weeks, home affairs in Chile have been dominated by protests against austerity measures introduced by the Government, which were triggered by an increase in local public transport fares. On 26 October, more than one million people in the capital Santiago alone took part in demonstrations primarily calling for elimination of the prosperity gap within Chilean society. Against this backdrop, the Government cancelled plans to host the APEC Leaders’ Meeting and the COP25 Climate Change Conference. The COP25 will now take place in Madrid from 2 to 13 December.

President Piñera’s Government has now announced a reform programme that includes raising the minimum wage and pension, reversing price increases and increasing the top rate of tax. This is to be accompanied by broad-based dialogue within society to promote acceptance of the necessary reform process within the country while taking on board further demands by the protesters. The drafting of a new constitution has also been announced.


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