July 15, 2020 / 7:00 PM / in 21 days

Chilean lawmakers approve citizen drawndown from pensions, senate vote to come

SANTIAGO, July 15 (Reuters) - Chilean lawmakers in the country’s lower house on Wednesday approved a bill to allow citizens to withdraw 10% from private pension funds, in a significant blow to the government of center-right President Sebastian Pinera.

The deputies gathered in the congressional headquarters in the coastal city of Valparaiso cheered and sang after the result was announced, which saw the move backed by 95 votes in the 155-seat house.

Pinera on Tuesday announced cash payments to middle-class citizens hard-hit by the coronavirus outbreak in a bid to head off the bill, which economists have warned could cause a short, sharp shock to the country’s bourse. Chilean senators will vote on the bill in the coming weeks. (Reporting by Aislinn Laing; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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