Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Military Budget Revamp Sent to Legislature, Again
President Sebastián Piñera on May 17 sent to Chile's legislature a bill that eliminates the so-called copper law, a funding mechanism that provided the armed forces with billions of dollars from copper sales. In its place, the Ministry of Defense will have a broad 12-year defense-spending budget, subject to revisions under each new four-year presidential administration. Under such long-term strategic plans, the hope is that Chile will reach consensus on military goals. Piñera is basically repeating what former president Michele Bachelet did during her term. Her proposal was never approved. The abandonment of the copper law has its critics. Some believe the timing is bad, given that a leftist politician known for his anti-Chile rhetoric is in a run-off for president of Peru.