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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – On Sunday, Brazil’s interim president, Michel Temer, completed a month in office, after Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was suspended while the country’s senate votes on her impeachment process. With many ideas on how to bring Brazil out of one of its worst economic and political crises, Temer, has yet to implement any change.

Brazil, Brasilia,Interim President Michel Temer  completed a month in office on Sunday
Interim President Michel Temer completed a month in office on Sunday, photo by Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil.

During the first week in office, the Temer administration said its number one priority would be to reduce the public deficit and bring back investor confidence. The president then announced plans to extinguish thousands of federal jobs, reduce the number of ministries, and change Brazil’s foreign policy, all while maintaining social programs and benefits.

“It is essential to rebuild the credibility of the country abroad so as to attract new investments and get the economy growing again,” said the 75-year-old politician as he gave his first speech as President.

His plans of trying to restore economic credibility, including the nomination of Former Central Bank President and market-friendly economist, Henrique Meirelles, as the country’s Finance Minister and chief economist for Itau Bank Ilan Goldfajn, as Central Bank President were overshadowed by the resignation of two other important cabinet members, weeks after being appointed.

Planning Minister, Romero Jucá was forced to step down on May 23rd, a little over a week after taking office, after recordings showed him allegedly telling a colleague that impeachment proceedings against President Rousseff were necessary so as to limit investigations on the Lava Jato (Carwash) corruption scheme.

Brazil, Presidency,Planning Minister, Romero Jucá, steps down after recording suggests plot to halt Lava-Jato,
Planning Minister, Romero Jucá, steps down after recording suggests plot to halt Lava-Jato, photo by Fabio Pozzebom/Agencia Brasil.

Transparency minister, Fabiano Silveira, resigned a week later, after recorded conversations showed him criticizing the Lava Jato (Carwash) investigations and giving advice to those being investigated. Silveira was dubbed by many in the government as Temer’s anti-corruption minister.

In addition, the plans of doing away with some of the ministries were not as easy as the new administration might have thought. The downgrade of the Culture Ministry to a department within the Education Ministry received heavy criticism from Brazilian artists and intellectuals, and Temer was pressured into reinstating the ministry. Now Brazilian scientists are protesting the merging of the Science and Technology Ministry with that of Telecommunications.

While Temer, during his first speech as president, promised to ‘maintain and improve social programs which were successful’, including the Minha Casa Minha Vida, one of the PT (Workers’ Party) main flagship programs, the new Cities Minister, Bruno Araujo, revoked a government order that would allow state-run bank, Caixa Economica, to authorize the construction of up to 11,000 new housing units under the housing program. The order had been signed by the Rousseff administration only days before President Rousseff was suspended from office.

In the foreign policy front, Brazil’s new Foreign Relations Minister, Jose Serra, called for new strategies to guide the country’s foreign policy, moving away from what he called ideological preferences.

“Our foreign policy will be governed by the values of the state and nation, not the government and never a party,” said Serra, distancing the country from some of the Rousseff’s administration allies, such as the government of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.

Analysts predict that Temer, if Rousseff is definitely impeached, has only a few months to prove that it is different from the previous administration. If scandals linking his key aides continue to sprout, his administration is likely to lose the little credibility that has remained, plunging the country into a deeper economic and political crises.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Great !!! Let s keep on the way to fix up Brasil so businesses around the globe will be booming and in Brasil as well. Let us have total Zero Tolerance on corrupts and malandragem regardless who does it, famous or regular persons like It Happens in First World Countries. I gave up going to the Olympics in Rio because of this real outrageous lack of good administration which has always abound Rio de Janeiro and No one fix it. No wonder if this Olympics will be a deceptive event. What a shame of past adms, Rio ceased to be the “Cidade Maravilhosa” and became the Former Cidade Maravilhosa of the 60s and 70s. Actually what used to be “maravilhosa” has always and only been the nature there of which GOD created and l m sorry Carioca messed it up. Any hope to recover this creation? Please compare, Cot’e D’Azur, Saint Tropez, Monte Carlo, Malibu, Santa Monica, San Francico, New York. When are we gonna get there , Rio? Foreign tourists are not stupid, sorry. I know we Can do much better than what we find in Rio de Janeiro these days. Our great Tom Jobim would have a heart attack today if he came back to life in Rio to see how it became to be. We still can hope and struggle for a resuscitation of our Cidade Maravilhosa, isn’t it? Don’t destroy our dreams and our kids for the future. Thank You “Rio Times” you are doing great. Subscribing in a few months, thanks, merci, grazie, che-che, arigato, spacibo. Ate la, be happy. Rbt

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