Friday, June 06, 2008

More for Bachelet to deal with

The Bachelet administration negotiated the end to a trucker’s strike, accepting the demand for an elimination of diesel taxes. Some truckers, however, reject the government’s plan to cut the taxes only 80% in 2008, and then eliminate them entirely in 2009, and claim they will continue unless the government cuts them 100% immediately. The strike was starting to have a major impact, including the inability to get food onto supermarket shelves and oxygen into hospitals. The government had already announced a $1 billion subsidy to address rising fuel costs.

No doubt Bachelet was looking at how the prolonged farmer’s strike has been hurting the Fernández government next door, not to mention at her own very shaky approval numbers. She desperately needed to look decisive, because with previous strikes (especially students) she was roundly criticized for dithering around.


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