We will end up with an overestimation of the party leaders, says Marina’s right hand man [PORTUGUESE]

September 22, 2014

Natuza Nery and Marina Dias – Folha de S. Paulo, 9/22/2014

Folha de S. Paulo interviews biologist João Paulo Capobianco, who has worked closely with Marina Silva, about her intentions for the upcoming presidential race.

Folha – The economist Eduardo Giannetti, ally of Marina, said that she prefers to grow at 3% with economic sustainability at 7%. Is this true?
Capobianco – Marina would not make a trade-off like that. Brazil has an enormous challenge of having social inclusion that cannot forego growth. The issue is to separate growth from the mentality of pushing for growth at any price, as is the vision of the current government. In this mindset, it does not matter if I create a million conflicts because I have the idea that creating the Belo Monte dam is the best thing for the country.

Is she against Belo Monte?
No. That is another myth, the idea that Marina is against hydroelectric power. The issue is how to make a project sustainable from an economic, social, and environmental standpoint.

But growth with sustainability is costly.
How is it costly? I think that the contrary is true. What is costly is not doing it.

Read more [in Portuguese]…

Brazil vote may affect diplomatic ties

September 22, 2014

Adriana Gómez Licón – Buenos Aires Herald, 9/21/2014

More than a decade of Workers Party rule has seen Brazil prioritize ties with its leftist regional neighbours, from helping muscle socialist Venezuela into the Mercosur trade bloc to financing a billion-dollar transformation of an industrial port in Cuba. But if President Dilma Rousseff fails to fight off the surging candidacy of reform-minded Marina Silva before presidential voting in October, South America’s largest economy could reset its focus.

Silva was thrust into the Socialist Party’s presidential nomination when its candidate of choice, Eduardo Campos, died in a plane crash last month. Since then, her anti-establishment profile has propelled her to a neck-and-neck race with Rousseff.

Silva says she would re-emphasize ties to the United States and Europe, mostly by working to land trade deals with each. Such moves could cause tension with Mercosur, which prohibits members from making bilateral deals without the group’s approval.

Read more…

Like Lula, Marina Silva can refresh Brazil’s tired politics

September 22, 2014

Misha Glenny – Financial Times, 9/22/2014

Brazilian elections often produce the unexpected on the day but this presidential campaign looks like it might top them all. In the space of a month, President Dilma Rousseff has gone from shoe-in to fighting for her political life in the October poll.

What makes the election even more extraordinary in this conservative country is that the other frontrunner, like the president, is a woman. Both candidates have overcome adversity. Ms Rousseff was tortured as a political prisoner under the military dictatorship in the 1970s. Her rival is Marina Silva. Illiterate until the age 16, she then rose from poverty through civic activism to the post of environment minister under Ms Rousseff’s predecessor.

The two served together in the government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, known as Lula, the great symbol of the Workers’ party. But, although both are nominally leftwing, there are big differences in policy and style, accentuated by a mutual personal disdain.

Read more…

Brazil’s household survey: Slower going

September 22, 2014

J. P. – The Economist, 9/21/2014

Brazil is, famously, one of the world’s most unequal countries. Income of the richest 10% of the population is 38 times that of the poorest tenth. The ratio in Poland, which has similar income per person, is just eight to one. But at least the left-wing Workers’ Party (PT), in power since 2003, has been able to claim that, unlike in most other places, Brazilian inequality has fallen consistently on its watch. On September 18th it seemed this trend had come to an end. Data from the annual household survey, a mini-census of 150,000 families, showed an uptick in Brazil’s Gini coefficient, from 0.499 in 2012 to 0.500 in 2013 (0 signifies everyone has an identical income and 1 means that a single household takes everything).

If this was unwelcome news for President Dilma Rousseff, who is seeking a second term in an election two weeks from now, the next day offered hope of a respite. The national statistics office (IBGE), which compiles the survey, announced that it contained “extremely serious errors”, caused by applying the wrong weights to some of Brazil’s regions. Revised figures show that the Gini in fact edged down to 0.497.

Other tweaks—not to mention the very public cock-up—offered less for Ms Rousseff to cheer about. Brazil’s median inflation-adjusted household income rose by just 2.3% between 2012 and 2013, not 4% as originally thought. Illiteracy dipped from 8.7% to 8.5%, not to 8.3%.

Brazil readies election thriller

September 22, 2014

Laura Bonilla Cal – Yahoo News, 9/21/2014

A fiery plane crash that claimed the life of a popular politician has provided Brazil’s presidential campaign with a dramatic plot twist worthy of a telenovela.

And it may end with election of the country’s first black president.

With just two weeks to go before millions of Brazilians heads to the polls on October 5, environmentalist Marina Silva, 56, has emerged from nowhere as a serious threat to President Dilma Rousseff’s hopes of securing re-election.

Read more…

Campaign donations highlight winners, losers in Brazil election

September 22, 2014

Silvio Cascione and Brad Haynes – Reuters, 9/19/2014

Brazil’s financial markets have rallied on the prospect of environmentalist Marina Silva unseating President Dilma Rousseff in next month’s election, but political donations show plenty of companies may be wary of a new administration.

Silva’s market-friendly proposals promise relief for oil giant Petrobras, ethanol mills and private banks. But they could also cause headaches for a range of firms facing tougher competition, higher borrowing costs and maybe even more taxes, especially in the energy and auto industries.

Political fundraising reflects the split among potential winners and losers, with the vast majority of donations going to the incumbent – a reflection of powerful business interests comfortable with the status quo that Rousseff represents.

Read more…

Brazil inflation: on the up again

September 19, 2014

Jonathan Wheatley – Financial Times, 9/19/2014

As Brazil’s polling day draws closer, another data point emerged on Friday for the voters’ consideration: consumer price inflation is back above the upper limit of the government’s target range and shows no sign of falling back soon.

The IBGE, Brazil’s statistics office, said CPI in the month to mid-September was 0.39 per cent, bringing the accumulated rate over the past 12 months to 6.62 per cent. That was above the consensus forecast of 0.35 per cent for the month, according to Bloomberg.

Inflation is running at its fastest rate in more than a year, just as the campaign for elections on October 5 heats up. Until recently, voters seem to have paid little attention to Brazil’s weakening economy, which was in recession in the first half of this year. But a wave of bad economic data may have contributed to the recent poor performance in opinion polls of Dilma Rousseff, hoping to be re-elected to the presidency, as voters make the connection between economic mismanagement and the woeful standard of Brazil’s public services, which brought thousands of protesters onto the streets last year.

Read more…


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