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DERNIER DISCOURS DU PRÉSIDENT CHILIEN



Date: 10 mars 2014

La victoire de Sebastian Pinera à l'élection de janvier 2010 marque le retour de la droite à la présidence du Chili. Au terme de son mandat, en 2014, il ne peut toutefois être sur les rangs de nouveau puisque la Constitution ne le permet pas. Avant de quitter son poste, il fait le bilan de ses années au pouvoir lors de son dernier grand discours public.

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Dear compatriots, good evening.

This Tuesday finishes our Government and we are giving it to the elected president Michelle Bachelet.

This night I want to thank, from the bottom of my heart, all Chileans for the privilege and responsibility they placed on our shoulders when they chose us to direct the country during these four years.

The biggest honor and challenge that a person can receive as a citizen and lover of his or her country, is to serve their homeland and their people from the Presidency of the Republic.

It is true that we have governed in difficult times. We inherited an economy with clear signs of fatigue in its capacity of growing, creating jobs, improving wages, reducing poverty and expanding opportunities for Chileans.

We have governed in the middle of a hard crisis of the international economy, which has meant unemployment and recession in many countries of the world and also our continent. We had to face an extended drought and 12 days before assuming the Government, that tragic morning of Feb. 27, Chile was hit by one of the most devastating and destructive earthquakes and tsunamis of our history, which meant much pain and also generated a challenge of reconstruction that we had to add to our commitment and goals contemplated for our Government program.

During these years, many times we have said that Chile was a country of heroes. And we weren't talking just about Caupolicán, Lautaro, Arturo Pratt, Ignacio Carrera Pinto, but also about those millions and millions of anonymous heroes that everyday struggle to improve the lives of their families.

During a Government there are times to assume commitments and times for their realization. Because of this, during the last weeks I have had the privilege to travel around all the Regions of Chile to realize these commitments and our mission: make Chile a society of opportunities, securities and values.

We feel that we leave the Government with the joy of fulfillment. Today Chile is a better country to be born, to grow, to study, to work, to form a family and to age than how it was four years ago. That means, it is a better country to live in.

The best proof is that childbirth in our country, which before was decreasing, today is increasing again. And when Chilean couples, who want the best for their children, decide to have more children, it is because Chile is a better country for them to live in.

Without prejudice of our mistakes, we have recognized and struggled to overcome them, and we are conscious that there are still many problems to solve and challenges to face to improve the life of Chileans. But thanks to the efforts, contributions and merits of all of you, today Chile grows, creates jobs, improves wages, reduces poverty and inequalities with strength and will.

We feel happy for the millions of new jobs we have created together, which means that millions of Chileans have found an opportunity and recovered their dignity; that three million compatriots fulfilled the dream of owning a home; that thanks to the improvement of Credit con aval del Estado no family sees the dream of a professional children as a nightmare, because of the heavy pack of debts it indicates, and with the quadruplication of scholarships, today no student with merit is left out of superior education for lack of resources.

We also feel very happy for the new 24 hospitals we have built and the 47 in process of construction; for having increased from 1,200 to 4,000 our capacity to train the specialist doctors we needed; of having extended from three months to six the benefit of postnatal care; of having finished the waiting list of Auge and having started to reduce the price of medicines; of having inspired the program Elige Vivir Sano, led by the First Lady, which is changing our culture to a life with more sports, better nutrition, more family and more nature. That means, a happier life for our citizens.

A good President should be as a good father or mother and worry about their children. That’s why we have a permanent commitment to the poorest and to the dedicated middle class, and we have a commitment of helping, supporting and accompanying our compatriots.

We also advanced gender equality, both in rights and responsibilities, to be a more inclusive society, more respectful and less discriminatory.

In addition, we have faced delinquency which has been very hard, and as of the last survey by ENUSC today it is decreasing, and peace and security of our families is progressing.

The dream and mission of our generation, the bicentennial generation, is to achieve what our parents and grandparents sought but never succeeded: make Chile a developed country, without poverty, a country with more justice and equality of opportunities, and a country which allows children to have a better life.

I would like to finish these words by expressing two sentiments:

First, my deep pride for Chile and my enormous gratitude for my compatriots, for the affection and support they have always exppresed through a tight hug, a word of encouragement, a friendly gesture, a smile or simply in the privacy of their thoughts in their hearts.

Second, I want to wish the best of luck and success to the future Government, which on Tuesday will be led by the President-elect Michelle Bachelet.

During my four years as the President of Chile, I always had the wise and generous advice of those who have preceded me in the position. The future President knows that she can also have that attitude and disposal from my part.

I also want to thank to all members of this Government, Ministers, Undersecretaries, Intendants, Governors, Heads of service, Military and those who have given the best to improve the life of Chileans. I also want to thank my family, children, grandchildren and especially my wife, Cecilia, who was not only the First Lady but also the best partner, friend, adviser and sometimes critical, that this President may have had.

And, finally I would like to thank God, for not abandoning me even in the hardest and darkest moments, and for always giving me health, will and enough strength to fulfill my responsibilities as the President of all Chileans and giving always the best of myself that I considered it was the best for Chile, and Chileans of today and tomorrow.

God bless Chile and Chileans.

Good evening and thank you so much.


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