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Sat Jan 13, 2018, 10:58 PM

Chile Slams World Bank Amid Charges of Political Bias

By Pascale Bonnefoy and Ernesto Londoño

Jan. 13, 2018

SANTIAGO, Chile — Chile’s outgoing president, Michelle Bachelet, criticized the World Bank on Saturday after an economist said that her country’s poor showing in an influential survey of global business conditions may actually have reflected a political bias against her left-leaning government.

The outcry came after the bank’s chief economist, Paul Romer, told The Wall Street Journal in an interview on Friday that while Chile’s ranking has fallen in the bank’s yearly “Doing Business” report, which investors watch closely, “business conditions did not get worse in Chile” during the Bachelet era.

He added that he did not have “confidence in the integrity” of the data and methodology that led to Chile’s negative assessments and offered a “personal apology” to the country.

The statement has started a political firestorm in Chile, where the candidate from Ms. Bachelet’s leftist coalition was defeated in last month’s presidential election, a race in which economic policy was a decisive issue. Ms. Bachelet, who leaves office in March, was barred by term limits from seeking re-election.



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