This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Chile's President Unpopular Despite Great Economy


SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) â¿¿ Chile announced another drop in unemployment on Thursday, along with low inflation and fast growth, numbers most leaders can only dream after a global economic crisis. But President Sebastian Pinera's popularity remains in the dumps.

The Andean country's jobless rate fell to 6.1 percent in the last quarter of 2012, the lowest in nearly six years, thanks to seasonal farm jobs and a fast economic expansion, the government said. The world's top copper producer closed the year with 5.5 percent growth and kept inflation at just 1.5 percent, way under the central bank's target.

"Since this government began, 740,000 new jobs have been created," Pinera told reporters on Thursday. "This year salaries rose more than double the rate during the previous government."

And yet, Pinera remains the most unpopular Chilean leader since Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

Polls show Chileans are mostly satisfied with the economic progress, but social protests have taken their toll on the presidency. Many remain unpersuaded by Pinera, a billionaire who in 2010 became the country's first democratically elected right-wing ruler in 52 years.

As Pinera begins his last year in office, nothing seems to change their minds.

Survey results released Wednesday showed Pinera closed 2012 with a dismal 31 percent approval rating, even though 53 percent have a positive perception of their country's standing.

Factors conspiring against Pinera include "enormous hope built up during his campaign in the form of promises that people say have not been met these years," said Gustavo Martinez, a political analyst and director of the institute for public opinion at Universidad de Chile.

During Pinera's first days in office, he said extreme poverty would be eradicated by 2014, and that he would accomplish more in days than his predecessors managed in years.

Pinera began just after Chile suffered one of the strongest earthquakes in recorded history, and spent much of his time leading the reconstruction. Then, long-simmering social protests over education, Mapuche Indian issues and the environment exploded on his watch.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,976.31 +263.65 1.49%
S&P 500 2,086.24 +25.22 1.22%
NASDAQ 4,947.4410 +56.2220 1.15%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs