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Chile: Presidential Address Met With Violent Protests

Hundreds of people took to the streets in Valparaiso on Saturday to protest against President Sebastian Pinera’s government as he made his annual address to Congress.

Police deployed water cannons and tear gas to try and disperse protesters. In response, demonstrators threw rocks and other projectiles. According to reports, at least seven people were arrested and transferred to the local police station.

The march was stopped before it even began, but a heavy police presence failed to deter pensions pressure Group No Mas AFP.

Just over a year after taking the presidency from Michelle Bachelet, Pinera used his second address to highlight proposed reforms to the pension system.

The planned reform, which would overhaul the retirement system inherited from former dictator Augusto Pinochet, came under fire in part due to the low pensions which, in most cases, would be below Chile’s minimum wage of about $400 (€360).

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