News from Brazil

Brazil Politics & Government News

In Brazil on February 17, 2012 at 11:50 am


A year into her term, Ms Rousseff’s administration is firmer in its principles, more technocratic, more personally loyal, and far more female than was Lula’s. It remains to be seen whether those changes will make her more able than Lula was to push through the structural reforms Brazil needs (The Economist).

President Dilma Rousseff plans to freeze 55 billion reais ($32 billion) in budget spending in 2012, officials said, as part of an annual fiscal exercise designed to limit inflation and signal the government’s commitment to austerity. Most investors anticipated a freeze of roughly 50 billion reais. The total government budget in Brazil this year is expected to be about 1.5 trillion reais (Reuters).

Brazil’s education system will be critical in improving the country’s stark inequalities, and last week it was announced that 600,000 tablet computers would be handed out to public school teachers at over 62,000 schools, in an attempt by the Ministry of Education to show new technologies are the way to speed up improvements (The Rio Times).

A Brazilian newspaper editor who campaigned against corruption in Mato Grosso do Sul state has been shot dead, police say. Paulo Rodrigues was killed by gunmen riding a motorcycle in the city of Ponta Pora, near the Paraguayan border (BBC).

The Brazilian Executive Public Ethics Committee will investigate alleged corruption claims involving Development, Industry and Foreign Trade minister Fernando Pimentel. Jose Paulo Sepulveda Pertence said the investigation will focus on media reports that exposed Pimentel activities as business consultant for private companies in 2009 and 2010 (MercoPress).

Recently inaugurated Minister for Women policies Eleonora Menicucci has raised eyebrows in chauvinistic Brazil after having publicly admitted to two abortions and bi-sexual experiences (MercoPress).

The Brazilian government wants to increase from four to six months the amount of paid maternity leave companies are obliged to give new mothers, the country’s minister for women’s policy said (Latin American Herald).



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The Senate’s Committee on External Relations and National Defense approved the creation of an external temporary committee to cope with the crisis involving Brazilian rural producers rooted in Paraguay, also called Brasiguayos and the Paraguayan landless, known as carperos (Federal Senate).

Brazil has asked China to allow more of its manufactured goods in to the Chinese market as it seeks to tap into the country’s growing economy. The call comes as Brazil’s trade surplus with China has been rising, hitting $11.5bn (£7bn) last year. Brazil has also asked China to reduce its exports amid concerns that the influx of low-cost Chinese goods was hurting its manufacturing sector (BBC).

American politicians aren’t the only ones worried about China trade.  Brazil’s Vice President Michel Temer said that the country’s business leaders were getting increasingly wary about competition from China (Forbes).

Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota and his visiting German counterpart Guido Westerwelle called for signing a free trade agreement between the European Union and the South American trade bloc Mercosur (MercoPress).

After more than three decades, the United States has allowed its import tariff on sugarcane ethanol to expire, giving American consumers access to one of the best environmentally performing biofuels available at commercial scale. The Brazilian sugarcane industry hopes that decision will encourage the European Union to follow suit, in order to develop free markets for clean, sustainable and renewable fuels (UNICA).

Brazil’s trade with the Arab world increased more than 28 per cent to $25.13 billion (Dh92.9 billion) last year and is expected to grow by up to 15 per cent this year, according to the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (Gulf News).


Brazil is “very likely” to choose France’s Rafale fighter jet to refurbish its air force, government sources say, a decision that would award one of the emerging-market world’s most coveted defense contracts to a jet whose future was in doubt only two weeks ago (Reuters).

Swedish defense group Saab AB said the company has got no indication that Brazil has reached a decision on what fighter jets to opt for to rearm its air force (WSJ).

Defense Minister Celso Amorim said the need for a strong defense industrial base is part of a strategy of deterrence to ensure peace in the South Atlantic. In a speech at the opening of 2nd National Defense Seminar, held in the auditorium Nereus Ramos House of Representatives, the Minister Celso Amorim has identified a process of devolution of power worldwide and the creation of “a belt of good-will between Brazil and its neighbors in South America.” The minister said the country should extend this belt to Africa, in the spirit proposed by the Zone of Peace and Cooperation of the South Atlantic (Defpro).

Peru is considering buying ten Super Tucano light attack aircraft from Brazil’s Embraer as it works with Brazil to bolster surveillance along their jungle border, Brazilian Defense Minister Celso Amorim said (Reuters).



Facebook’s popularity in Brazil has exploded over the past year, and the company may have its biggest competitor, Google’s Orkut, to thank for it (Reuters).

But Baidu, the leading Chinese search engine, is opening an office in São Paulo. The initial objective is to get to know the Brazilian and Latin American market in order to design a strategy for the region. “The idea is to compete directly with Google,” Wesley Barbosa, 25, the person from Alagoas newly hired for the position of business manager for Latin America, told Folha. Currently in Beijing, he will be moving to São Paulo in three months (Folha).


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