News from Brazil

Politics & Government

In Brazil on January 7, 2011 at 1:38 pm

POLITICS

Dilma Rousseff takes over a booming economy—and rising inflation and interest rates, lack of investment in infrastructure and a fiscally incontinent legislature (The Economist).

Dilma’s full cabinet can be found here.

Brazil has a great opportunity to become a developed nation, said president Dilma Rousseff during her inauguration as the first woman to govern the country. In a joint session of the National Congress, she promised to fight against poverty, to promote economic growth and to control inflation (Senado Federal, also source of picture).

President Dilma Rousseff’s new government moved immediately to tackle the biggest threats to Brazil’s booming economy, vowing new budget cuts, measures to deal with an overvalued currency, and even a tougher line in trade talks with China (Reuters).

Dilma Rousseff is set to rewrite Brazilian history. Following her election in October 2010, she replaced Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on January 1, 2011, to become the first female president of one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Her past as a resistance fighter in the 1960s against Brazil’s military dictatorship has generated even more interest in her. The Globalist explores her vision for Brazil.

Once discounted as a technocrat and a political puppet of her creator and predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Dilma Rousseff had never occupied elective office before her inauguration as President of Brazil on January 1st. Being the first woman to reach the presidency in Latin America’s biggest nation, however, will likely add to her burden of succeeding the most popular Brazilian leader in history (Brazil Institute).

Read also Oliver Stuenkel’s view at Post Western World: On New Years Day, Brazilian Worker’s Party President-elect Dilma Rousseff takes over from her mentor, outgoing President Luis Inácio “Lula” da Silva. She has big shoes to fill as she tries to emulate her predecessor.

Brazil’s new government has signalled its intention to press ahead with a controversial ‘truth commission’ to investigate abuses by the country’s former military dictatorship (Telegraph).

During Lula’s time in office, the number of Brazilians living in poverty has fallen from 49 million to just under 29 million. And although Brazil still has one of the world’s greatest income disparities, the country is on the verge of reaching its lowest income inequality level on record (Huffington Post).

Outgoing President Lula da Silva said he might run for president again some day, Folha de S. Paulo newspaper reported, a revelation that could weaken his chosen successor (MercoPress).

Former Brazilian beauty queen Marcela Temer has caused a media sensation with her appearance at the inauguration of President Dilma Rousseff (BBC).

With the recent 62% increase Brazilian lawmakers (Lower House and Senate) will be among the best paid in the world, ahead of European and US peers and from other emerging economies (MercoPress).

President Dilma Rousseff’s main coalition partner appeared to back away from a spat with the ruling party, but said it wanted more say in the new government’s decision-making (Reuters).

Lula passed the presidency to Dilma Rousseff having done much during his two terms. In the process, he relied on four simple pillars that other leaders would be well advised to consider (Bloomberg).

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INTERNATIONAL

On the same day that work began on a new Palestinian embassy in Brasilia, President Lula da Silva said that peace in the Middle East was impossible with the United States as a mediator (MercoPress).

China, along with Argentina, Uruguay and the United States, will be one of the first foreign trip destinations of President Dilma Rousseff (Xinhua).

Brazil’s Supreme Court chief judge, minister Cezar Peluso, ruled today that Cesare Battisti, an Italian former communist militant convicted for murder in absentia, will remain in jail in Brazil (Bloomberg).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

DEFENSE

The Federal Senate’s Plenary approved the bill that approves the text for the agreement signed between Brazil and France for cooperation in defense. With 24 articles, the text increases even more the cooperation between the two countries in this sector, mainly in the areas of research, development, logistic support, purchase of defense products, equipment and services, as well as joint actions in military training and instruction (Senado Federal).

France is confident of scooping a major contract to sell Rafale fighter planes to Brazil under its new president Dilma Rousseff, the French defense minister said Jan. 4 (DefenseNews).

The Helicópteros do Brasil (Helibras) subsidiary of Eurocopter signed a contract for a major upgrade program on the Brazilian Army’s fleet of 36 AS350 Ecureuils. This modernization includes the rebuilding of three of these aircraft (Eurocopter).

OTHER

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Justice Minister Luiz Paulo Barreto last month joined their countrymen to apply for a new chip-based identity card. It is a magnetic card with digital printing and an electronic chip that stores information about the card-holder’s name, gender, date of birth, photograph, affiliation, place of birth, signature, fingerprint, place and date of issuance and expiration (Xinhua).

Comestics maker Natura said it is appealing a fine of close to 21 million reais ($12.4 million) levied by the nation’s environmental oversight agency Ibama for allegedly making improper use of genetic material native to Brazil (Reuters).

Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo said he favors a public debate over the decriminalization of drugs (Bloomberg).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

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