Ever closer to Africa
The South American continent and the African landmass are ever closer advancing at a rate of two centimetres per year, according to a report from the Chilean Military Geographic Institute, IGM.
"We're heading back to the original theory, when we were an only continent", said General Pablo Gran, head of the IGM.
The report is one of the conclusions of an ongoing research undertaken by the Chilean Ministry of Defence together with universities from Berlin, Germany and Hawaii.
"The movement is also recorded in the Andes, and when earthquakes and tremors occur, the displacement can even be greater", indicated General Gran.
The research basically keeps track of the continental plates with monitoring stations all along the Chilean territory extending from Iquique next to the Bolivian border, Antofagasta, Santiago, Puerto Montt, Punta Arenas, Antarctic continent, Easter island and Juan Fernández island.
All the data collected is regularly sent to the universities of Berlin and Hawaii. Chile forecasts 3,5% expansion
Chile forecasts 3,5% expansion
Chilean officials expect a 3,5% economic growth in 2002, a point less than originally forecasted in the 2001 budget, but significantly free of regional contagion following the collapse of the Argentine situation. Chilean Finance Miniseter Nicolás Eyzaguirre said that unemployment will tend to decrease from the current 8%, while inflation is expected to range between 2 and 4% and the budget deficit below 0,5% of GDP. Retail prices during 2001 increased 2,6%, --below expectations--, particularly because of December's minus 0,3%. Mr. Eyzaguirre said that in spite of a world economic deceleration, the Chilean economy managed in 2001 to grow 3,1% and to attract 800 million US dollars in net foreign investment, a reversal of what happened in 2000. However the Chilean official pointed out to the disengagement of the Argentine situation as one of the main achievements of 2001. "After the turmoil of last September and October when the US dollar reached over 700 Chilean pesos, and the Central Bank intervened with over a billion US dollars, the market subdued and is spite of the current Argentine crisis, we're back to normal", ind