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Wednesday, December 9, 1998 Published at 16:34 GMT

Business: The Economy

Pinochet saga bad for business

Anti-British feelings are running high in Chile

Home Secretary Jack Straw's decision to allow the request for General Pinochet's extradition to go ahead could be bad for British business.

British companies which export to Chile are losing millions of pounds because customers are refusing to buy from the UK while the general remains in custody.

The pinochet File
Several right-wingers in Chile have called for a boycott of British products, such as Scotch whiskey, Colman's mustard and Jaguar and Rover cars.

[ image: Evelyn Matthei...pressing for a boycott of UK goods]
Evelyn Matthei...pressing for a boycott of UK goods
Senator Evelyn Matthei wants to channel the feelings of many ordinary Chileans who are angry at Britain for what they see as a betrayal of a former ally.

Chile has a strong economy - which many Chileans attribute to the anti-inflationary policies of General Pinochet's regime - and is an important export market for many UK companies.

Evelyn Matthei: "It's better to target goods rather than people"
Several UK exporters have reported problems with their Chilean customers and representatives of the construction industry have raised the matter with Housing Minister Nick Raynsford.

Speaking before the decision, the chairman of the government's Latin America Trade Advisory Committee, Alexander Kennedy, says: "All the government's hard work in the region could be destroyed if the extradition goes ahead."

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26 Nov 98 | Americas
Chile steps up effort to free Pinochet

26 Nov 98 | UK
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