News from Brazil

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on June 17, 2011 at 9:10 am

POLITICS

In the aftermath of the scandal surrounding Dilma Rousseff’s controversial chief of staff, Antionio Palocci, the Brazilian president’s popularity is at an all-time high. According to polling agency Datafolha in São Paulo, 49 percent gave Rousseff a very positive approval rating, saying she was doing a ‘good’ to ‘excellent’ job (The Rio Times).

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has exchanged approximation signals with the opposition, beginning to “take distance” from her mentor Lula da Silva and seems closer to opposition Senator and former president Fernando Cardoso (MercoPress).

Brazilian Dominican friar Frei Betto, considered one of the promoters of the so called Liberation Theology, attacked the ruling Brazilian Workers Party because instead of fostering links with social movements prefer to be cosy with big business and their leaders have become consultants of business people and bankers (MercoPress).

Petrobras, confirmed that former Presidential Chief of Staff Antonio Palocci has resigned his position on the company’s board.Earlier this week, Palocci resigned as chief of staff due to allegations of influence peddling. Palocci was elected in April to Petrobras’ board of directors (FoxBusiness).

President Dilma Rousseff, who promised in her campaign to fight discrimination against women, promoted last week two women to key political posts as she seeks to mend relations with her congressional allies in the wake of a scandal that toppled her closest aide (Bloomberg).

Brazil’s lower house of Congress passed a bill to speed up public works projects for the 2014 World Cup, aiming to solve delays that have plagued plans to build new stadiums and expand airports. The bill, which has yet to be approved by the Senate, would streamline government tenders for infrastructure projects in the run-up to the FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro (Reuters).

Brazilian Labor Party Chairman Rui Falco said it is very necessary for his party, as a continuous ruling party, to compare notes on governing experiences with the Communist Party of China (CPC) (Xinhua).

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INTERNATIONAL

The international perception about Brazil’s economy has worsened, but the perception about the country’s social conditions has improved, according to a survey released by the Institute of Applied Economic Research (Ipea) (Xinhua).

The costs and benefits of Brazil becoming a member of the United Nations Security Council as a permanent member, divided the participants of the 8th panel on Brazilian Foreign Policy, held by the Committee on External Relations and National Defense. Becoming a permanent member might give Brazil a leading role in international relations, as reminded the initiative supporters, but on the other hand the country could be exposed to high political and economic costs, according to the critics of the measure (Federal Senate).

The Senate approved a vote of censorship on the statement of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (OAS), which asks Brazilian authorities to cancel the license and construction of the Belo Monte dam, in Xingu river. The request (RQS 574/11) was made by the Committee on External Relations and National Defense (CRE), chaired by senator Fernando Collor (PTB-AL) (Federal Senate).

According to the Financial Times, Brazilian commerce levels with Africa have reached US$25 billion in 2010 and there are now 500 Brazilian companies in operation in the continent (compared to 13 in 1995), many of whom see the region as not only an important export/investment destination but also as ways to use knowledge and expertise in fields such as hydro electricity, energy production and construction (The Citizen).

There is a little-noticed but potentially important development in Latin America’s human rights front — Brazil, the biggest country in the region, is becoming a little less supportive of tyrants around the world. Unlike former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva — who did a good job at home, but spent much of his time praising foreign tyrants — President Dilma Rousseff is taking small steps to take distance from some of the world’s worst human rights offenders (The Miami Herald).

DEFENSE & SECURITY

Embraer Defense and Security has selected Liebherr-Aerospace for the advanced environmental and cabin pressure control systems of the KC-390 military transport aircraft. Flight tests of the KC-390, with the new environmental and cabin pressure control systems, are expected to begin in 2014, and the aircraft should go into service at the end of 2015 (Embraer).

Brazil’s armed forces are receiving rapid deployment, satellite communications systems from a local subsidiary of Spanish company Indra. Under the order, Indra is delivering light-weight, portable fly-away satellite communications systems that guarantee satellite communications from distant locations (UPI).

RESEARCH

The remarkable economic growth of emerging markets such Brazil, Russia, India and China, and the fact that Business Schools know little about the management and organizational developments in these countries, creates an opportunity for a forum for knowledge sharing and diffusion on international business related to emerging markets. The Erasmus University of Rotterdam, The Netherlands, has now created the Erasmus Centre for Emerging Markets (ECEM). Academic director is Professor Susana Rodrigues of Brazil (ECEM).

BRAZIL FIGURES

As every editor knows, a writer should never inflict too many numbers on the reader. Rankings, dates, figures, indexes and percentages can be off-putting – if not a downright bore. With this in mind, here is a little collection, gleaned recently from the Brazilian press, which may help to decipher a few local realities (The Guardian).

Results from Brazil’s 2010 census, released in late April, show that Brazil is now a minority-majority country. The white population dropped below 50% of the total for the first time, to about 48%. But some say it may have been that way all along, but the statistics did not reflect the reality (CNN).

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