Last week, the total amount of the changeover ceremony of the Chilean Air Force Command (FAF) was announced, after General Arturo Merino assumed the post of Chief Commander of this institution.
In a statement, the entity announced that "Regarding the use of airborne vehicles, 72 aircraft were taken into account, which cost fuel and lubricant costs of 554,422 US dollars, equivalent to the national currency of 382,833,839"
In addition, 55 million of the cocktail ceremony, daily for the Air Force and tents, among other costs, are included.
A number that is very superior, for example, at the military parade and the change of the presidential command. For this reason, the criticism of the high price of this ceremony was not long in progress. And that was the president of the Republic himself who expressed in a radio interview that it was "a change that bothers me and that will not happen again".
In a conversation with Radio Universidad de Chile, former Defense Minister Francisco Vidal pointed out that there were inaccuracies in the president's criticism and pointed out that the funds allocated to the air force act were in the nation's budget, therefore, it was an expense that had to be done anyway.
"The criticisms are completely disproportionate by President Pingera and reveal a lack of information, because he said that it cost more than a change in the presidency. The change to the command in the budget costs 720 million euros, and that of the FACh has not reached 500. And most importantly misinformation, since the rules of air force pilots establish many flights annually, then the pilot has two alternatives: Or fly over President Pingera when changing the command, or flying over the desert rocks. "
Regarding the fiscal austerity policy that the enforcement agent sought to establish, the former secretary of state said the focus should be placed on other overhead costs, not on reducing resources for such events: "Instead of reducing paradonic aircraft, cut the salary of the president, ministers, mayors, deputies and governors by 25 percent, it's a sign of austerity. "
The same, Vidal opposed the idea of reducing military spending, ensuring that "it is not excessive compared to the rest of Latin America".
"Investing in defense allows us to reach the peak of a peace country." Two times Chile is at the brink of war when we have an unfavorable military situation in terms of Peru, 74 and Argentina 78. As long as we have the military capacity we have today, we will not have a danger of war. "
Regarding the figures, it should be noted that while the budget for changing the presidential command amounts to about 740 million pesos, as reported by the Presidency, the amount spent in that last instance amounts to about 213 million dollars.
In the meantime, there is no single position in the ruling party. Deputy Chairman and National Renewal President Mario Desbord said they would not share presidential statements or publish them.
Meanwhile, the deputy of the RC member of the Chamber Defense Committee, Leonidas Solis described it as "worrying" about the cost of this ceremony and asked to call the air force commander to explain and provide details on the issues of command change.