News from Brazil

Government & Politics

In Uncategorized on May 2, 2010 at 12:51 pm

ELECTIONS

Opposition candidate Jose Serra, who leads polls ahead of Brazil’s presidential election in October, may curb public spending but he believes in strong government and could exert more power over the central bank. Neither Serra nor the ruling party’s Dilma Rousseff are expected to break with mostly market-friendly economic policies that have brought robust economic growth under President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, but there are some policy differences. Read them at Reuters.

Jose Serra said that he would create a ministry of public security to clean up Brazil’s crime-ridden streets if he is elected president in October (Reuters).

LULA

Read the portrait of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Time Magazine.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva says he plans to stay active in politics even after his eight years in office end Dec. 31. The hugely popular leader has declined to clear up the mystery surrounding his plans for the future, hinting only that it could be linked to Latin American integration or African development (AP).

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Does Brazil have a nuclear agenda? Read about the future of non-proliferation at The Economist and see who is on board.

Brazil has made it clear in the Nuclear Security Summit that it favors diplomacy over sanctions in addressing Iran’s nuclear proliferation. Being one of the non-permanent members of the U.N. Security Council for 2010-2011, Brazil holds an important position of decision-making power regarding international security issues (The Rio Times).

The president of the Senate, José Sarney, supports the pressure that western countries like the United States and Germany are putting on Iran and North Korea for them to give up the development of nuclear weapons, admitted or not (Brazilian Senate).

Venezuela has fallen behind on some payments for Brazilian exports but the percentage of unpaid bills is not beyond the normal level in any bilateral trade relationship, a Brazilian minister said (Reuters).

The weakness of the dollar, and not of the Chinese currency, is becoming the main cause of global economic imbalances, Brazil’s finance minister said (Reuters).

Leaders from Brazil and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) held their first summit in Brasilia to enhance bilateral ties (Xinhua).

ATLANTICO

Brazilian companies may soon benefit from guarantees from the World Bank group to carry out investments in Africa, the director of the World Bank for Brazil said in New York (Macauhub).

Trade between Angola and saw a sharp fall in 2009 when compared to the two previous years (Macauhub).

DEFENCE

Italy’s top defence and aerospace company Finmeccanica forecast up to 4 billion euros ($5.33 billion) in Brazilian orders in the coming years. The company said it expected to win a contract alongside Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to supply warships and other contracts tied to security for big sporting events that Brazil will host, including the 2016 Olympics (Reuters).

Brazil plans to increase the number of its voluntary army from 300.000 to 500.000 in the next two decades as the defence budget keeps growing steadily said ministry sources. The country’s defence budget soared 44.5% in real terms in the last five years (Mercopress).

ECONOMY

Brazil’s central government unexpectedly posted a budget deficit before interest payments in March, after the government increased public spending by 9.2 billion reais ($5.31 billion) (Bloomberg).

Hundreds of workers jam under a white plastic awning near Goiania in the nation’s central region as Lula launches into two favorite subjects: soccer and Brazil’s federal audit court, known by its initials TCU. The watchdog agency, similar to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, has become Lula’s bane. TCU President Aguiar says the president is carrying out public works at any price in the name of development (Bloomberg).

Brazil’s government is planning to lend 2.5 billion reais ($1.43 billion) to local ethanol producers to enable them to defer sales of the biofuel and build stocks to stabilize supplies (Reuters).

The Brazilian economy will have to grow at least 7% a year to promote a “meaningful reduction” in income difference between Brazil and more developed nations, said minister Samuel Pinheiro Guimarães of Strategic Affairs. Brazil will have to promote great investments in infrastructure, especially in the expansion of railways and waterways. The minister exposed the main points of the 2022 Brazil Plan, which is still being prepared by the government (Brazilian Senate).

SPLIT SECOND POLLS

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