Saturday, March 10, 2012
President Pinera Meeting
SANTIAGO - Eight days after the meeting between President Piñera and Roger Waters, the latter sent a public letter to the radio station “Radio Futuro” describing the details of the meeting.
In the letter sent to the “La Ley del rock” (The Law of Rock) host Hernán Rojas, Waters admits he was shocked after hearing Piñera’s statements about the social conflicts in which Chile is currently involved.
“His answers were astonishing, I cannot repeat the whole conversation, it was a friendly meeting, but I have to share with you some of the answers,” the singer wrote.
“The President said children and young people between 5 and 18 years old have options. There is private education for those who can afford it and public education which is free. The state-subsidized education has four main branches: public municipal schools, schools managed by churches, schools managed by non-profit organizations and schools managed by for-profit organizations. According to Piñera, the child’s father is responsible for the school the boy is going to go to, meanwhile the State worries about the whole system,” Waters said in the letter.
“This was like a utopia, I thought. So, I answered him, “but, what if a father wants to send his or her children to a school because it is better than others?” He answered to me, “They take him to that one.”
“What if there is not enough space for the kid?”
“So we build more of that kind of school,” the President answered.
“What happens with those schools that are becoming empty?”
The answer, “We close them.”
Waters continued in his letter, “According to the information I’ve gathered, any school financed by the State is good enough to send its student to the universities, so parents then have to get into big bank debts in order to send their children to university. It is a systematic discrimination in the educational system against poor people who cannot solve their income problems.”
In the letter, Waters also explained what he talked with the President about the manifestations. “Since Piñera came to office as President, there have been more than 2,000 manifestations authorized by the government. Of these ones, there have been more than 1,200 injured… 1,100 were police officers and 100 civilians.”
When I left the La Moneda building I was shocked, but I did not say anything to the media waiting outside.
“Am I tough with the President? I hope I’m not. Is that why politicians are not so worried about what they say? After a while, the doctor Pablo López suggested that I read the following sentence at the end of the show last Saturday, and I did.”
“Mr. President, listen to the people. Now.”
“It is not bad advice”, concluded the musician.