New Chile energy minister quits over conflicts

AP News
Posted: Jul 21, 2011 9:47 PM
New Chile energy minister quits over conflicts

Chile's new energy minister has suddenly quit after just three days on the job. He says he discovered he had conflicts of interest only after he was named to the post by President Sebastian Pinera.

Fernando Echeverria explained in a news conference Thursday night that his own investigation discovered the conflicts between Chile's energy ministry and the family companies he has been running.

Echeverria gave up his job as governor of Santiago on Monday to replace Laurence Golborne in the key energy post. Now he's out of the government altogether.

Presidential spokesman Andres Chadwick says the decision shows how honorable Echeverria is. Opposition leaders, however, are calling it an embarrassing spectacle.