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Brazil passes Chilean-style pension reform as protests engulf Santiago

Brazil should be careful of learning the wrong lessons from Chilean protests.


A demonstrator runs from tear gas during a protest against Chile's state economic model

Sometimes one wonders if we really are living in a simulation – and then we see ironies so incredible: narratives surely too contrived to be served up by any conscious design.

Take Brazil’s pension reforms – the need for which has been talked about for more than a decade, and the specific reform has been years in the making.

Finally, on Tuesday, the Brazilian senate passed finance minister Paulo Guedes’ reform, which was inspired by the Chilean model.

The very same night, Chile – long the bastion of investment grade, economic rationalism and prosperity – was in flames: figuratively with huge protests and literally as buildings and underground trains were torched.

The Chilean government responded with a range of policies designed to placate the protestors – one of which was a 20% increase in the basic state pension.

The coincidence of both happening within the same 24 hours would be too heavy-handed for any writer.


Guedes has been vocal about his desire to copy the Chilean model implemented in the 1980s.

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