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Business Words in the News
Friday 17 May 2002
Vocabulary from the business news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  Dock in Chile
EU - Latin America trade relations
Summary: Government leaders from European Union and Latin America have started talks in Madrid on forging closer political and economic links. Latin America has for a long time been pressing the European Union for more favourable trade relations. This report from Greg Morsbach.

The News Listen  
  Chile is due to follow in Mexico's footsteps by signing an association agreement at the summit. The free trade pact will give Chile more trade with the EU, worth an extra eight billion dollars or so. Other Latin American countries have also come to Madrid hoping to pull off an association deal with the Europeans if not generous financial aid packages.

But their chances look bleak. The EU isn't ready to commit itself to the sort of close partnerships it has offered Chile and Mexico. Brussels says the economic conditions elsewhere aren't yet right for free trade pacts.

On the political side, the thirty or so Latin American leaders gathered in the Spanish capital are keen to allay fears in Europe that South America is unstable. The leaders fear progress in trade talks with Brussels is being overshadowed by a series of political tremors in the region such as last year's civil unrest in Argentina and the events in Venezuela which saw the return of the deposed President Hugo Chavez, after a failed military coup.

This is Mr Chavez's first trip abroad since last month's turmoil. Mr Chavez is expected to discuss closer cooperation with Spain in return for much needed financial aid. Venezuela had been accused of harbouring six suspected members of the Basque separatist organisation, ETA. Spain wants their extradition.

The Words Listen
  association agreement
a decision to join together, establishing common interests

  free trade pact
a formal agreement between governments to cut restrictions and taxes on what is bought and sold

  pull off
succeed in doing something very difficult

  if not
they accept that they are unlikely to get financial aid packages

a set of offers, proposals or arrangements

relationships in which organisations or people work together in an equal and cooperative way

  economic conditions
the state of the economy: money, industry and trade

  allay fears
if you allay someone's fears, you stop them feeling fearful

  political tremors
sudden and damaging events which shook the political scene

cooperation happens when people work together, often for a specific purpose


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