Last week, the total number of ceremonies for the Chilean Air Force (FACh) was announced, after which General Arturo Merino took over as commander of the institution.
Through a statement, the company announced that "In connection with the use of aircraft, a total of 72 aircraft were considered, which cost US $ 554,422 fuel and lubricants, equivalent in national currency to $ 382,833,839."
In addition, 55 million of the ceremony are used in the cocktail, per diem for air crews and tents, including expenses included.
A figure that is extremely superior, for example, to the military parade and the change of presidential command. For this reason, criticism of the high costs of this ceremony was not long in coming. And it was the President of the Republic himself who expressed in a radio interview that it was "a change that bothered me and it will not happen again".
In the conversation with Radio Universidad de Chile, former Secretary of Defense Francisco Vidal stated that there was an inaccuracy in the President's criticisms and stressed that the resources devoted to air force action are in the national budget, it was an expense that could be done anyway .
"The criticism is totally disproportionate to President Piñera and reveals missing information because he said it had cost more than the change of the presidency. The change of command in the budget cost 720 million. And that for FACh did not reach 500. And the most important thing is misinformation because the Air Force's rules establish a series of flights a year, so the pilot has two alternatives: Or fly over President Piñera at the command, or fly over the desert stones. "
In relation to the fiscal tightening policy that the director has sought to establish, the former Secretary of State said that other major expenses should be emphasized, not on the reduction of resources for this type of event: "Instead of lowering paradeplanes, I would reduce The salary of the president, ministers, mayors, parliamentarians and governors by 25%, it is a sign of tightening. "
At the same time, Vidal was against the idea of reducing military spending and ensuring that this "is not exaggerated compared to the rest of Latin America."
"Investing in defense allows us to achieve the maximum of a country that is peace. The two times Chile has been on the verge of war was when we had an unfavorable military situation in relation to Peru 74 and Argentina 78 . As long as we have the military capabilities we have today, we will never go for war. "
In comparison with the figures, it should be noted that although the budget for the change of the presidential commission was about 740 million. Pesos, as stated by the Presidency, was the amount used in the latter case, approximately 213 million.
In the ruling party there is no single position. Vice-President and President of National Renewal, Mario Desbordes, did not say to share the President's opinions or make them publicly available.
Meanwhile, deputy chairman of the RN member of the Defense Committee, Leonidas Solis, described as "worrying" the costs of this ceremony and asked to call the Air Force Commander to explain and deliver details of the disputed change of command.