Brown ends friend-finding tour in Chile

Brown will today hope for a warmer welcome from Michelle Bachelet
Brown will today hope for a warmer welcome from Michelle Bachelet

By Laura Miller

Gordon Brown will today end his tour to trump up support for his economic measures in Chile, ahead of the G20 meeting of wealthy countries next week.

On the last part of his whirl wind trip across the continent, the prime minister is set to meet president Michelle Bachelet in a bid to push forward plans he hopes will be accepted at the London summit.

Mr Brown called on wealthy nations to contribute to an £80 billion package to help boost international trade during his visit to Brazil yesterday, highlighting the need for a multi-lateral approach to the crisis, and urged countries not to fall back on protectionist measures.

But despite the handshaking and shows of solidarity for the cameras, Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva hinted that next week's G20 discussions would be heated.

He criticised wealthy countries for causing the global financial crisis, claiming it would be the world's poorest who would be made to foot the bill.

"This was a crisis that was fostered and boosted by irrational behaviour of people that are white, blue-eyed, that before the crisis looked like they knew everything about economics," he said.

"Now they have demonstrated that they don't know anything about economics."

President Lula, head of Brazil's main left-wing party, said "no black man or woman, no indigenous person, no poor person" could be blamed for the current crisis.


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