Mar 13, 2010 10:49 AM by Associated Press

Chile faces huge recovery cost, but can go it solo

Chile's president says it will cost twice as much to recover from its devastating earthquake and tsunami as it will cost Haiti. But Sebastian Pinera says his country will be able to finance much of its own reconstruction.

Thanks to surplus stashed away in better times, Pinera says Chile will draw on foreign credit "with moderation."

While damage estimates are close to $30 billion, the Chilean government has $11 billion saved from copper exports in good years. In addition, the private sector is expected to recover more than $3.5 billion in insured damages.

says reconstruction won't be easy. He's calling for "tremendous austerity" in government spending and says he'll rework the existing 2010 budget.




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