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SANTIAGO, Chile – Take heart that you aren’t alone in this hemisphere.

Truckers, bus drivers and cab drivers are threatening to walk off the job in Chile, as their government refuses to repeal a 16 per cent hike in gasoline prices that was introduced Feb. 7.

Empresa Nacional de Petroleo SA, a state-run oil monopoly, said it had to raise prices because of a surge in crude oil prices – up more than 20 per cent since Jan. 7. About 95 per cent of the country’s oil needs to be imported.

The threatened transportation strike could cripple key businesses, such as fruit exporters. n

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