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Chilean Bill Would Make September 17 Public Holiday Permanent

Source: La Segunda (Santiago)
Posted: Friday, September 4, 2009
Most recent follow-up news item: September 5, 2021

Chile's Congress is to consider a bill by deputy Cristián Nicolás Monckeberg, that would make September 17th an annual public holiday, beginning with next year's bicentennial celebrations.

This new public holiday, to be named "Día de la Chilenidad" (the day of being Chilean) would take its impetus from next year's expected declaration of September 17 and 20 as additional public holidays, based on another bill introduced by a group of Chilean parliamentarians from the UDI, PPD, as well as some independents, last spring (2009-05-29).

Deputy Monckeberg's proposal garnered immediate support from the Director of Chile's National Tourism Office, Oscar Santelices, but drew heavy criticisms from fellow deputy, Antonio Leal (PPD), a member of the influential Comisión de Economía de la Cámara.

Apart from the usual argument that each day off costs Chile 800 million US dollars, this time, opponents of this bill are using Deputy Monckeberg's very own arguments to counter it. Deputy Monckeberg's argument that the 17th of September is almost already a public holiday (because the 18th and 19th of September are already annual public holidays), says Deputy Leal, is the slippery slope that would eventually lead others to propose making September 16th a public holiday, since people would spend the day getting ready for the 3-day, September 17-19, public holidays.

In any event, the Chilean executive does not currently seem to be in the mood for additional public holidays, having recently gone through the effort of changing the date of the next Presidential elections to a Sunday to avoid having to declare a public holiday on December 11, 2009 (2009-06-03).

Links and References

Below are links to the news stories referred to in the above "Chilean Bill Would Make September 17 Public Holiday Permanent" news story, as well as links to subsequents news stories which refer to the present news story.