Government Secretary-General Karla Rubilar tries to lower tensions over what is already set up as a self-fulfilling prophecy: that in March the citizen demonstrations will be especially violent and public order will be more affected than it has been so far, since October 18. Rubilar, in an interview with La Tercera, says that the Government is not thinking about a particular month, but how to face a year 2020 that seems especially complex.
«We know that there is concern in the public about March, that there are relevant milestones that can generate concern given the four months we have lived. But the government decided not to prepare for March, but for 2020. Why? Because 2020 is a year that is full of milestones: there are the plebiscite, the primaries that might exist, the municipal and governor elections; we can even have constituent choices. Therefore, the preparation, especially in matters of public order and security being commanded by Minister Blumel and Undersecretary Galli, seeks to have learned from the previous four months. In this understanding, the geographical and sociocultural situations of the places where violence has occurred are being analyzed, because the violence of Plaza Italia is not the same as at the pudahuel police station, in Puente Alto or in a region like Antofagasta. Learning, coupled with structural reform and the transformation of Carabineros, which is likely to be one of the President’s announcements during March, should go hand in hand with greater tools to deal with events that we aspire to not happen, because we want to that 2020, unlike 2019, is not marked by violence, but by the constituent debate,» he said.
The spokeswoman, however, hopes that the month where in practice the working year begins, be on the contrary, the beginning of an auspicious period for the government of Sebastián Piñera
«We aspire to make March the month of real agreements. If one thing the CEP survey taught us, it is that people value leaders who are able to overcome their ideologies for the common good and come to terms with others who think differently. Therefore, March should be a month of great agreements, where we could bring forward the planned reform, the guaranteed minimum income, the security laws that are missing and where we can agree on how we deal with the plebiscite and, among all, we guarantee that this will be a historic day,» he said.
Rubilar believes that the government’s problem has been his inability to convey Piñera’s leadership as manager of economic growth and public policies, since before the social outburst. «First, we humbly recognized that one of our strong government’s strength was the President’s ability to be, in terms of economic public policy, probably one of the most supported presidents. However, we were never able to communicate what we wanted to grow for. It seemed that growth, the possibility of having better indicators, were an end in itself, when in fact what we wanted was that, as the country grew, we were going to have resources to close inequality gaps, generate greater territorial identity and give it financial support for the deep social sense of the government program. We weren’t able for a long time to communicate that well,» he emphasized.
In that sense he insisted that there were problems with the «story» coming out of The Coin to Citizenship «we had a story that seemed to be much more numbers than of people and the heart of the government program was how we improved the quality of life for people. And there I think there’s a lesson; we had communication errors from our different ministers, many of them very skilled, many of them with a lot of social sensitivity, but who did not have the feeling of empathizing with that a phrase, a form of expression could generate pain,» he said, in referring to ministers who were changed in the context of the protests.
With the lessons learned, Rubilar anticipates what the government will be in the spotlight in the coming weeks: «We know that social peace is not only built with better and more carabinieri or with more anti-crime laws, but also by responding to social demands that were lifted strongly in October. That’s why pension reform, health reform, what are all the anti-abuse laws that the President is going to introduce in March, is so relevant. That’s where we’re at. And it has nothing to do with polls, because we know that the crisis of trust is so deep that it’s not just with our government. . And it has nothing to do with polls, because we know that the crisis of confidence is so deep that it’s not just with our government,» he said