Chilean President Piñera discontinues "catastrophe state" in O'Higgins, Maule and Bío Bío regions

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Piñera with Rodrigo Hinzpeter, Interior Minister, during the press conference.
Image: Presidency of Chile.

The opposition to the Chilean President Sebastián Piñera have criticized his management after the earthquake. Piñera however gave a stability message to the Chilean people last Wednesday. On Thursday morning, he announced that he would discontinue the "catastrophe state" declared in the most affected regions by the earthquake: O'Higgins, Maule and Bío Bío. He also emphasized the actions he has taken during the twenty days he has been as President.

Piñera also said that the decree that declares as affected zones the Valparaíso, Santiago Metropolitan, O'Higgins, Maule, Bío Bío and Araucanía regions will be kept in order to ease the aid plans, and military forces will stay in these areas.

"We've decided to keep the Armed Forces on the affected areas with a double purpose: they can still collaborate in aid humanitarian works with the enormous job to reconstruct what the earthquake and tsunami destroyed," said Piñera. "We want to halt the delinquency, as we did last March 29 in the Day of the Combatant Young [Día del Joven Combatiente]," he added.

He also said he was satisfied with the promulgation of the "bono marzo" ("March bonus", a bonus of money that poor people will receive), one of his symbolic proposals for his government.