Bachelet takes power in Chile

Reuters

by Reuters

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STORY: Michelle Bachelet took over the presidency of Chile in a ceremony loaded with symbolism on Tuesday, after promising to stick to her tax-and-spend campaign pledges despite a sharp economic slowdown.

Bachelet accepted the presidential sash from Senate head Isabel Allende, the daughter of late socialist President Salvador Allende, whose overthrow in 1973 ushered in the 17-year dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

Returning to Chile's top job after a spell with the United Nations, Bachelet heads a coalition that ranges from moderate leftists to communists. She wants to address social inequality in the top copper exporter by overhauling education and healthcare, funded by tax reforms.

Apart from a prickly Congress and volatile student movement, which has been vociferously demanding better, free education, she will have to deal with a struggling economy. Economic activity growth slowed to a near four-year low in January and falli

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