Pinera greets Rajoy: 'Welcome to a better world'

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Posted: Friday, January 25, 2013 12:00 am

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - "Welcome to a better world," President Sebastian Pinera told Mariano Rajoy of Spain as a 60-nation summit got under way on Friday, teasing his counterpart with barbs reflecting the changing fortunes of a Europe mired in crisis as Latin America booms.

The economies of Latin America have resisted the global downturn with solid domestic demand, growing by 3.1 percent last year compared to a 0.5 percent contraction in Europe, and are forecast to grow even faster this year as the Old World remains stuck in recession. Spain is particularly troubled, with a record 26 percent unemployment, putting nearly 6 million people out of work.

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