News from Brazil

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on December 2, 2011 at 11:49 am

POLITICS

Brazil is willing to contribute funds to the International Monetary Fund to help minimize the effects of the European debt crisis, Finance Minister Guido Mantega said. Mantega made his comments after meeting with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. Brazil was Lagarde’s last stop on a Latin American tour that has also included visits to Peru and Mexico. “This time, the IMF did not come here bringing money as in the past,” Mantega told reporters. “This time it came to ask Brazil to lend it money and I prefer to be a creditor than a debtor.” Brazil endured decades of lectures from the developed world about its spendthrift ways. But it now has one of the world’s fastest growing economies (Washington Post).

President Dilma Rousseff plans to replace a handful of ministers to streamline the cabinet when she completes a year in office in January but the shuffle does not include Finance minister Guido Mantega, according to Planalto sources (MercoPress).

President Dilma Rousseff called for more investments in innovation to deal with the shocks of the European debt crisis. “We must take steps that will change Brazil, and one of them is undoubtedly placing our bets on innovation. I believe innovation, science and technology will be leaps for Brazil,” she said. Rousseff also stressed that Brazil cannot afford to get scared and must continue to produce and consume. The president also called for increasing local production of items which are currently being imported, such as the drills used by state-controlled oil and gas giant Petrobras, to create jobs. Rousseff said Brazil has every chance to become the world’s fifth largest economy, but added that ensuring social equality in the process of development is more important (Xinhua).

Could it be that Minister of Labor Carlos Lupi is only hanging onto his job because of the comedy value he brings? Lupi has been in the spotlight for nearly a month, dodging corruption allegations — the sixth minister in President Dilma Rousseff’s government to face such charges since she took office in January. But he has yet to resign or be dismissed, even while the drama around him becomes increasingly farcical (Bloomberg).

Brazil’s Executive Committee on Public Ethics, on a unanimous decision recommended President Dilma Rousseff the removal of Labour and Employment Minister Carlos Lupi (MercoPress).

Brazil’s Justice Department is terminating 29 contracts signed to build desperately needed prisons that never left the drawing board. It means Depen, Brazil’s National Penitentiary Department, will have to chase after the R$160 million that has already been paid into states’ accounts for the new building works, while more and more reports surface of inmates fleeing severely overcrowded prisons (The Rio Times).

Brazilians’ life expectancy rose by three years in the past decade, increasing from 70.46 years in 2000 to 73.48 years in 2010, the government said (Latin American Herald Tribune).

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INTERNATIONAL

Four out of five hydropower projects being built in Peru by Brazilian companies are unlikely to take off as pressure from indigenous tribes and social groups in the Andean country mount (Reuters).

The top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said President Barack Obama is missing opportunities to strike closer ties with Brazil, allowing China to steal market share from U.S. companies in Latin America’s biggest economy (Bloomberg).

UK Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne opened a new Consulate General in Recife, Brazil – the city which became home to one of the first ever British missions in South America in 1808 (MercoPress).

DEFENSE & SECURITY

Because of repeated delays, Brazil’s $2.66 billion first nuclear submarine is not expected to be completed before 2025. In addition to its deterrence value, a nuclear sub would give Brazil “status” and add “credibility” to its ambition to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. Brazil also “intends to show the flag” in the South Atlantic, in view of its growing trade ties with African countries across the ocean, particularly former Portuguese colonies such as Angola (Defensenews).

But the idea of acquiring nuclear power—under the pretext of military use—with the real intention of commercial development appears to be an original idea of the Brazil government. The acquisition of a nuclear sub (presumably the engineering and logistics) might be more important for Brazil than actually owning one (MercoPress).

Combating the drugs and arms trade and traffic of people as well as a greater coordination of regional intelligence services are among the pillars in security affairs that Argentina, as chair of Mercosur in the first half of 2012 will be applying (MercoPress).

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SOCIAL

As a television evangelist, Mr. Malafaia reaches viewers in dozens of countries, including the United States. Over 30 years, Mr. Malafaia, 53, has assembled thriving churches and enterprises around his Pentecostal preaching. But it is Mr. Malafaia who has recently attracted the most attention, with his pointed verbal attacks on a broad array of foes, including the leaders of Brazil’s movement for gay rights, proponents of abortion rights and supporters of marijuana decriminalization (New York Times).

What can be greater for Brazilians than the 2014 World Cup which will be hosted by the country? The best beauty contest of all times…the several reasons to visit Brazil in spite of all the street killings: the Miss Bumbum competition (MercoPress).

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