By Marcelo Duailibe, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The finance minister for Brazil, Guido Mantega said yesterday that it may take ten to twenty years for Brazilian citizens to have a standard of living similar to Europe. Commenting on the study of the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), which points to Brazil as the world’s sixth largest economy, ahead of the United Kingdom.
The minister said that Brazil will consolidate that position and continue to grow more than other countries because the international crisis is affecting mostly advanced economies.
However he also explained the country still needs to invest more in social and economic. “That means we’ll have to continue growing faster than those countries, increasing employment and income levels. We have a big challenge ahead”, said Mantega.
The distribution of wealth is a barometer for a successful modern society, and while Brazil’s executives boast the highest pay in the world, the minimum salary has just been increase to R$622 (US$335) per month for 2012.
In the last ten years, the population in Rio’s favelas has increased by 27.7 percent. In the same period the rest of the city population grew 3.4 percent, indicating a growing divide.
Some thirteen million families, or 45 million people across Brazil, receive direct financial support from the Bolsa Família program. Depending on family income per person (limited to R$140), the number and age of children, the benefit amount received by the family can range from R$32 to R$306.
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