Anti-riot police in Chile have blocked demonstrators who tried to storm the presidential palace in Santiago. Police used water cannons and gas to break up Thursday’s demonstration. Thousands of disgruntled state workers reached the square outside the palace to protest a government salary hike they say won’t cover rising consumer prices.
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Officers parked two buses near the main entrance of the presidential palace to keep protesters from storming in. Authorities say President Michelle Bachelet was in the palace during the protest but was never in danger.
Chile’s government offered state workers a 3.2 percent salary increase late Wednesday. Workers initially called for a 7.5 hike but ultimately agreed to a 4 percent.