On the 25th february The Society was addressed by Axel Kaiser as part of our series of talks about the future of Chile. The talk was entitled ‘CHILE IN THE YEARS TO COME: RISKS AND OPPORTUNITIES’ Axel Kaiser is a Chilean lawyer, political analyst, writer and director of the think tank, 'Fundación para progreso', which has a big influence amongst right wing intellectuals throughout Latin America. Dr Kaiser gave a fascinating 30 minute presentation with slides outlining chile's economic and social statistics since 1990. His principle arguments were that Chile has generally had steady growth over this period and the numbers in poverty had been reduced and the gap between the poorest and richest sectors of society had actually narrowed. He believed that misinformation, social media and 'fake news' were largely to blame for the negative perception of social-economic situation in the country. His gloomy outlook was that the new constitution would end up being a disappointment and would not really change the lives of those that voted in favour of the change.
He pointed out that this period of uncertainty was going to damage the economy even further and lead to less investment and only economic growth would allow many Chileans to really feel their lives had improved. The event was excellently moderated by David Pearson, a long standing member of the Society who has followed developments in Chile over the last 40 years. There was an excellent attendance and David tried to pick out as many questions as possible. The society is very grateful to all those involved in the organisation of the event and in particular to Axel Kaiser for giving us some of his time and giving us his views on the current situation in Chile