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Chilean Students, President to Meet Saturday

Santiago, Chile, Aug 31 (Prensa Latina) The Chilean Government confirmed that a meeting will be held on Saturday between President Sebastian Piñera and the main leaders of the social movement demanding a free, not-for-profit education.

The announcement was made by Education Minister Felipe Bulnes, who said he had remained in contact with the main student leaders and other representatives of the people’s movement in order to arrange the meeting.

Although the Chilean students accepted Piñera’s invitation to talk, they said they would not be going to any negotiating table unless the Executive responded to a 12-point letter presented by the Chilean Student Confederation (CONFECH), containing major demands made by the people. University leaders consider the meeting just as a rapprochement.

“We cannot start to talk while the other party is repressing us,” said Camila Vallejo, a Chilean student leader of the University Student Federation.

Vallejo and other CONFECH spokespersons condemned the killing of teenager Manuel Gutierrez and the repressive behaviour of Chilean police against social mobilizations.

CONFECH also demands that projects presented to Parliament in the last few days be dropped, as they consider that these projects have been drafted unilaterally by the executive, without taking into account the people’s feelings of rejection of market-oriented education and the institutional structures inherited from the military regime of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).

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