An interview with economist José Manuel Flores
[Translation of an interview from Brasil de Fato for March 5. See original here.]
by Pedro Carrano
Since 1973, the Chilean economy has traced a long path, beginning with the coup headed by General Augusto Pinochet against the popular government of Salvador Allende, and today is being consolidated into an economy controlled by large domestic and foreign businesses that holds the line on exportation and keeps the internal market strangled – despite representing only one percent of the productive capacity of the country. So they control 80 percent of the internal market and provide jobs for only 20 percent of the population.
This is the analysis of Chilean economist José Manuel Flores. In a country in which neoliberalism has gained hegemony and has brought about a radical alteration in the economy, the export of copper is central, a target of control and export. “Before, copper was exported and now copper concentrate, its raw material, is being exploited. Transnationals control 76 percent of Chilean copper,” the economist calculates. In an interview with Brasil de Fato, Flores talks about the relation between natural resources and the Chilean economy, the failure of the Concertación as an alternative government after Pinochet’s departure, and now as the opposition to the government of rightist Sebastián Piñera, in office for a year. In this scenario, popular movements take on a new importance. The recent popular revolt in the province of Magallanes against an increase in the price of gas demonstrates this. (more…)