Chile’s Finance Minister Resigns amid Controversy with President Bachelet over Mine Project

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Chile's Finance Minister
The former minister of finance did not clarify why he left. (Twitter)

Español Chile‘s Finance Minister Rodrigo Valdés resigned this week following a meeting on Thursday, August 31 between important economic ministers of the country.

“I have presented my resignation to her excellency, the President of the Republic, Michelle Bachelet, and she has accepted it,” Valdés said. “The specific reasons will remain in the private talks I had with the President,” he added.

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He said he thanked Bachelet for her confidence in him and the opportunity she gave him to “contribute to the country.”

“A number of considerations prevent me from continuing to fulfill my task,” Valdé said.

Valdés is the second Minister of Finance to leave the position, after the Alberto Arenas, who held the position from March 2014 until May 2015.

Disagreements between Valdés and Bachelet went public this week when Bachelet defended Environment Minister Marcelo Mena, who supported the rejection of a controversial mining-port project that was intended to be installed in the region of Coquimbo, and which would have exploited the iron and copper in La Higuera.

“There are people who believe that if one cares about the environment, that the economy will not be able to keep growing, but it can. You have to see the world through a different lens,” Bachelet said in Curico earlier this month.

“This is not a matter of personal feelings, but an objective necessity for the country, a demand coming from the citizens that we want to give the seal of government.”

The statements from Bachelet created controversy and were taken as her “pulling out the rug from under” the economic team.

Sources: La Tercera; BiobioChile; Radio Agricultura; W Radio.

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