Lula completes 100 days in power

By Manuel Perez Bella

São Paulo (BLAZETRENDS)

The violent eruption of the Bolsonarista mob on January 8 not only caused extensive damage to the headquarters of the three powers of the Republic, but also forced the new government, a week after assuming power, to change its priorities in order to concentrate its efforts to dispel possible new threats to democracy.

File image of the president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brasilia (Brazil). BLAZETRENDS/Jarbas Oliveira

Lula had to spend several weeks paying full attention to the leadership of the Armed Forces and other security forces, to insist on “depoliticizing” the command cadres.

He took over from some commanders who were too close to his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro, including the now ex-commander of the Army, General Júlio César Arruda.

Since then, the new president has multiplied his meetings with the military leadership and has lavished himself on military acts, with the aim of recovering an institutional normality that was dynamited in the four years of hegemony of the ultra-right.

Recovery of social programs

The president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, in a file image. BLAZETRENDS/ Sebastiao Moreira

The incipient de-bolsonization of the institutions, a process that can still be extended, has gone hand in hand with Lula’s “obsession” -according to his own words- to resume the social policies that in the past had an impact on the reduction of the poverty and who were buried by Jair Bolsonaro.

Among others, he recovered the Bolsa Familia, the main subsidy program for the poor, or the popular housing program Mi Casa Mi Vida.

His management of gestures also impregnated the social groups most mistreated by the extreme right, such as women, sexual and racial minorities, especially towards indigenous people, to whom he dedicated a ministry for the first time.

Among the gestures, he appointed 11 women to lead a total of 38 ministries, the highest proportion of female ministers in the history of Brazil.

An active foreign policy

The candidate for the Presidency of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, in a file photograph.  BLAZETRENDS/Fernando Bizerra
Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, in a file photograph. BLAZETRENDS/Fernando Bizerra

Another of Lula’s great swerves has occurred in foreign policy, in which he has had a hectic agenda, in contrast to the isolation of his predecessor.

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In these 100 days he traveled to Argentina, for the CELAC summit; to Uruguay and the United States, and due to illness he had to postpone a trip to China and the United Arab Emirates, which he will make next week.

It has also reactivated relations with Venezuela, suspended by Bolsonaro, and has rejoined the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), from which Brazil had separated in 2019.

Much of Lula’s foreign policy has focused on reinforcing international agreements aimed at protecting the Amazon rainforest, especially since the reactivation of the Amazon Fund, financed by Norway and Germany and to which other countries could join.

The economy, from now on

Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in a file photograph.  BLAZETRENDS/Andre Borges
Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in a file photograph. BLAZETRENDS/Andre Borges

Lula has announced that from now on his attention will be fully focused on the economy, a sector that for the moment has caused him more headaches than progress.

There have been constant frictions between the Government and the Central Bank, due to the high level of interest rates (13.75%), which have been successful in curbing inflation, but as a side effect they have slowed down growth and the market. of work.

But the issuing entity, which has full autonomy, for the moment has not yielded to the constant pressures that have come from Lula himself and his Finance Minister, Fernando Haddad, and has refused to moderate the rates due to fears of a possible price control.

The Government has managed to present a project to establish new fiscal rules, which provide for a more flexible spending ceiling, but its approval will depend on the National Congress.

These fiscal rules, which will be necessary to be able to increase spending for social programs, will also be linked to a future far-reaching tax reform that the Government is preparing and that will also have to go through a process that is still uncertain in the Legislature.

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