CHILE: Government and agricultural sector sign accord
Chilean President Ricardo Lagos signed an agreement with the nation's chief agricultural associations on 13 September, marking a positive end to more than two months of often tough "roundtable" discussions between the government and the agricultural sector.Lagos emphasized that the work of the government and roundtable members had just begun." This sector can continue to count on having a friend in the government. We have made promises with respect to milk, beef, tariffs, agricultural insurance, debt payments and agricultural stocks," said the president.Ricardo Ariztia, president of the National Agricultural Society, SNA, praised the government's commitment and described his own organization's decision to sign the agreement as an act of faith. TheSNA had criticized the roundtable's failure to address many of the political and economic problems plaguing the agricultural sector and was the last organization to sign the document. "There are innumerable specific issues that are not resolved by this document. We hope that over the course of the coming weeks some of these can be resolved. Others will require more time, and [our decision to sign the agreement] is a message that we are placing our trust in the government to resolve them," said Ariztia.
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