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Introduction: Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, the Inca ruled northern Chile while the indigenous Mapuche inhabited central and southern Chile. Although Chile declared its independence in 1810, decisive victory over the Spanish was not achieved until 1818. In the War of the Pacific (1879-83), Chile defeated Peru and Bolivia and won its present northern regions. It was not until the 1880s that the Mapuche Indians were completely subjugated. After a series of elected governments, the three-year-old Marxist government of Salvador ALLENDE was overthrown in 1973 by a military coup led by Augusto PINOCHET, who ruled until a freely...

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Economic Overview: At a glance

For the latest economic data refer to the Chile fact sheet (http://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/fs/chle.pdf) .

Policy directions

Chile retains an open economy and liberal trade regime, including a floating exchange rate, inflation targeting and a structural fiscal surplus rule, all geared towards reducing economic volatility. The Chilean Government has responded to the challenges posed by the global financial crisis by introducing a $US 4 billion stimulus package including additional financing for the state-owned copper producer CODELCO, new infrastructure spending and new ...

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People: About 85% of Chile's population lives in urban areas; greater Santiago is home to more than six million people and dominates Chile's political and economic institutions. Chile is a multiethnic society, and a majority of the population can claim some European ancestry, mainly Spanish (Castilian, Andalusian, and Basque), but also German, Italian, Irish, French, British, Swiss, and Croatian, in ...

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International Relations: Relations with neighbouring countries

Chile has frontiers with Argentina, Peru and Bolivia and has had historical rivalries with each of these neighbours. Chile expanded to its present size in the 1880s. Following her victory over Peru and Bolivia in the War of the Pacific (1879-83), Chile gained the northern provinces of Antofagasta (from Bolivia) and Tarapac√° (from Peru). There has been no armed conflict between Chile and her neighbours since 1883, but memories of the war and its territorial consequences have been an enduring source of tension in their relations ever since.



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Chile's dependence is made most evident by the country's heavy reliance on exports. These have included silver and gold in the colonial period, wheat in the mid-nineteenth century, nitrates up to World War I, copper after the 1930s, and a variety of commodities sold overseas in more recent years. The national economy's orientation toward the extraction of primary products has gone hand in hand ...

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