GOOD NEWS FROM BRAZIL
May 29, 2003
Is the header of one of today New York Times Editorials quite rightly commending the realism of Lula da Silva inaugurated in January 1st of this year.
What is remarkable is that Lula, a long time trade union leader, a leftist of perfect credentials, a three time presidential candidate, has not succumbed to cheap populism. Simply put, he seems to have realized that if you want to spread the wealth you must generate it first. Thus in his first 4 months in office, he has not been afraid to tackle his left wing
“Since taking office in January, President da Silva has pursued policies that have strengthened the nation's financial standing. Brazil's currency and bonds have rallied strongly, easing its debt burden, and rampant inflation is beginning to taper off. The government is also maintaining a budget surplus.
Some of the president's most ardent supporters within his Workers' Party are not thrilled by all this economic orthodoxy, or by what Mr. da Silva himself calls "bitter medicine." The government's tough reform proposals for civil service pensions may cause further friction between the administration and party militants. But the president, a former labor leader, is right in saying he cannot succeed on his ambitious long-term social welfare agenda unless Brazil first gets its economic house in order.”
Yet, I am quite certain that Lula at some point will bring deep reforms to the Brazilian society. If he is confident and controlled as he seems to be his chances are good.
What a difference with Chavez!