On Ian Bremmer's visit to Chile

"2017: The Sum of All Fears”  talk featuring  Eurasia Group President & Political Risk Expert Ian Bremmer - organized by Scotiabank Chile and Diario Financiero newspaper - became one of those events experts and non-experts cannot possibly miss.   Not only because Ian Bremmer is a most remarkable political scientist, columnist for TIME magazine, and Professor at NYU.  At Eurasia Group, a political-risk consultant firm, experts cover issues of geopolitical importance for business and opinion leaders, the media, the government, and politicians. Ian Bremmer has become a voice of reason into an increasingly unstable world, which seems to thrive against the previous precepts ruling the market and politics in the recent decades. Professor Bremmer has termed this political turn as the Geopolitical Recession, and as such, it could last longer than an economic one.   Country Risk Chile was at the talk and will attempt to explain the importance of his talk for a better understanding of the global scenario and for Chile.

(For more information on Eurasia Group see his Global Political Risks 2017. )

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Chile's Bachelet announces new legislation on Political Parties and secures transparency goals

As part of our weekly monitoring on Country Risk Chile's top 5 political risks 2016, we  bring a full analysis on new legislation to regulate political parties, the way in which they will be financed and the new audit powers which are given to SERVEL (Servicio Electoral) to supervise and oversee compliance with the new rules.  In January this year, President Michelle Bachelet set up an Ethical Committee made up of experts and academics whose task would be to deliver high-impact recommendations to reform political parties. The task was critical given the climate of political attrition and cases of corruption in the wake of 25 years of transition to democracy. Malpractice had surfaced in papers nationwide and beyond on cases of irregular campaign financing, false invoices, and tax fraud. The probes and investigations eventually led to the indictment of key political figures and entrepreneurs this year. On April 12th, Bachelet announced the Act with "exemplary sanctions" for those MP's in breach of the new law. 

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Controversy over legislation on press leaks

A piece of legislation passed on March 31st limiting powers of the press and criminalizing any leaks from legal proceedings has sparked fierce debate and heated controversy nationwide at a time of ongoing probes and investigations carried out by the National Prosecutor on tax fraud cases and irregular campaign financing.  The bill was part of a larger legislative package intended to secure secrecy of investigation to tackle the current increased rate of crime affecting Santiago and regions in Chile.  MP's claim the secrecy of investigation is key to secure the success of investigations and protect evidence necessary to bring criminals to justice.  The timing of the approval by Congress -however - has caused a national uproar from the media, social actors and the Supreme Court itself, eventually prompting MP's to retract themselves and announce publicly that such normative would have to revise again in the Chamber.  Changes were consequently introduced on April 5th to guarantee a free press and avoid indicting journalists performing their jobs. Amidst the current climate of political attrition (as a result of the media digging into cases of corruption and bringing  to surface the opaque irregular campaign financing as well as "ideologically" phony invoices used to evade tax) suspicions run high and seem to feed the popular thought that politicians wish an end to public scrutiny and condemnation before more cases involving political figures reach the prosecuting phase.  As a result of leaks to press on corruption cases, politicians accused of irregularities in campaign financing have been forced to abandon their political allegiance while facing legal proceedings.  A vibrant media has brought these figures under the public spotlight and some politicians argue they feel ill-treated by the journalists before the courts can either confirm or rule out the accusations. 

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