Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Tax Scandal Erupts in Chile

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A group of Chilean opposition senators headed by former secretary of state Andrés Zaldivar announced yesterday that they intend to launch an investigation into possible tax misconduct by newly elected President Piñera during his recent sale of LAN airlines. Critics allege that President Piñera avoided paying around $50 million in taxes by finding a buyer for his holding company Axxion (the owner of LAN) rather than selling his shares directly.

Those backing the investigation also question the impartiality of Julio Pereira, head of Chile’s national tax collection agency on the grounds that he was recently appointed by the same person he must now investigate.

These new allegations, coupled with other recent setbacks in appointing his cabinet members indicate that President Piñera post-election honeymoon may be exceptionally short-lived.

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