The visit of Chilean Central Bank president Carlos Massad to London is evidence of the "normalisation" of relations between Britain and Chile after the distancing that occurred two years ago following General Pinochet's arrest.
Chilean Embassy in London reported this week that Mr. Massud visit who was invited by the British-Chilean Chamber of Commerce, was the first visit of a high official, and a strong signal of the robust bilateral "normalisation of economic and trade relations" which traditionally have been very fluid.
Mr. Massud participated in a international forum of Central Bank governors and made a promising presentation on the Chilean economy to some outstanding British bankers, businessmen and Foreign Office officials.
"The country is the middle of a rapid and sound recovery", said Mr. Massud who added that the Chilean economy is growing at a 5,5% rate. Mr. Massud anticipated unemployment was expected to drop from 8,5 to 7,5% and inflation for 2000 will be in the range of 3,5% depending on the evolution of oil prices.
"The budget deficit will be slashed to one third of its '99 level" promised the Central Bank president who invited British businessmen to invest in Chile. Pinochet promises to fight back.
Pinochet promises to fight back.
On learning last Monday the ruling of the Santiago Appeals Court that lifted his parliamentary immunity, former dictator General Augusto Pinochet who faces over a hundred criminal accusations, once again claimed his innocence regarding human rights violations and assured he will fight back. Acting as spokeswoman for her father, Lucía Pinochet denied the General was depressed, "it's a complete lie", and said he was being exposed to a "political trial" involving responsibilities which do not correspond to him as a former head of state. Lucía Pinochet also claimed the government leaked to the press last May 23rd. the Court of Appeals ruling with the intention of "committing the magistrates to their first vote". On May 23rd. Santiago Appeals Court with all its members present voted 13 to 9, the lifting of Pinochet's immunity, which immediately became public in spite of the fact the official ruling, supposedly secret, was only communicat