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Sebastian Piñera

Piñera, Sebastián (Miguel Juan Sebastián Piñera Echenique)mēgĕlˈ hwän sābästyänˈ pēnyāˈrä āchāˈnēkā, 1949–, Chilean business executive and politician, president of Chile (2010–), grad. Catholic Univ. of Chile, 1971, Ph.D Harvard, 1975. The son of an ambassador, he made a fortune in banking, largely through his involvement the introduction of credit cards into Chile, and in subsequent airline, television, and other investements. A moderate conservative who opposed the Pinochet regime, he became a member of the National Renewal party and served as a senator (1990–98). In the 2006 presidential election he lost after a runoff to Socialist Michele Bachelet, but four years later he won the presidency, defeating former president Eduardo Frei. The first conservative to be elected president since the end of Pinochet's rule, he appointed a cabinet consisting mainly of techocrats and took office in the aftermath of the worst earthquake Chile had suffered in five decades.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Chilean History: Biographies

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