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After almost 2 years of tractations (see our post of November 10, 2006), at noon, yesterday, Chile's President, Michelle Bachelet, signed law 20.299 making October 31st a new annual public holiday to coincide with Reformation Day and to be called "Día Nacional de las Iglesias Evangélicas y Protestantes".
The bill's recent passage through the Senate (2008-09-16) added the "y Protestantes" to the name of the holiday, and made it into a movable public holiday, in the event that it falls on a mid-week weekday.
There had been rumours (2008-09-20) that one of the other public holidays of Chile would be canceled to compensate this new public holiday, the October 12, Día de la Raza, often being mentioned as most likely to be the one that would be canceled. This was not amended to the present bill, to ensure its timely passage for 2008, but Chile's Minister of the Presidency, José Antonio Viera-Gallo, stated in an interview last Thursday, that Chileans would loose one public holiday starting in 2009. He mentioned the possibility of it being the October 12 public holiday, but he also mentioned that the June 29, Saints Peter and Paul, public holiday named after the patron saints of fishermen could also be a good candidate for cancellation.
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