Victory lap: Chile’s president comes to London

By Ian Dunt

Chile’s president comes to London today, fresh from dominating the global media spotlight during the rescue of ‘Los 33’.

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera Echenique, a centre-right former businessman, basked in the attention during an emotional and dramatic 24-hour rescue attempt, with the whole world watching events in the South American country.

The rescue of the 33 miners, who were thought dead for 17 days, prompted remarkable good-will towards the country from around the world, with many commentators saying it marked a new chapter in the country’s history.

He is expected to offer a rock from the mission to Downing Street today as a gift.

The visit is based on trying to secure as much investment as possible for Chile’s industry from the City, but it is likely to transmute into an extended lap of honour for a president who presided over the safe return of the men.

After meeting with business leaders in the City, Mr Echenique will meet David Cameron and Nick Clegg in Downing Street before delivering a lecture at the London School of Economics. He heads to France and Germany tomorrow.