Chile is gearing up to swear in a new president, less than two weeks after a devastating earthquake and tsunami.
Leaders from across South America and the world have begun gathering in Santiago for the inauguration of conservative tycoon Sebastian Pinera.
Many have been keen to emphasise their support, including Spain’s Prince Felipe who was one of the first dignitaries to arrive in the Chilean capital.
‘‘It is a source of pride and honour to head the Spanish delegation. I hope you can celebrate as much as possible during the sadness and pain that this terrible earthquake has produced, that has destroyed the country,’‘ Spain’s Crown Prince said.
Earlier, Pinera played a solidarity football match for earthquake victims with Bolivia’s Evo Morales. Chile’s president-elect is under no illusion that he will have to hit the ground running.
‘‘If we could not waste a minute before, now we can’t waste a second. If, before, we had to do things well, now we have to do them very well. Starting from tomorrow we start a new stage, the stage to get our country back on its feet,’‘ Pinera said.
In addition to rebuilding Chile, Pinera also faces the tough task of taking over from the highly popular outgoing president Michelle Bachelet.