A year after widespread protests and just ahead of the World Cup, a new survey by the Pew Research Center finds that 72% of Brazilians are dissatisfied with the way things are going in their country, up from 55% just weeks before the demonstrations began in June 2013.
Opinions about the national economy have changed even more dramatically over this one-year period. Two-thirds now say Brazil’s once-booming economy is in bad shape, while just 32% say the economy is good. Just last year the balance of opinion was reversed: a 59%-majority thought the country was in good shape economically, while 41% said the economy was bad. Economic ratings had been consistently positive since 2010.
Brazilians are also concerned about the impact that hosting the upcoming World Cup will have on their country. About six-in-ten (61%) think hosting the event is a bad thing because it takes money away from schools, health care and other public services. Just 34% think the World Cup will create more jobs and help the economy. And about four-in-ten (39%) say the World Cup will hurt Brazil’s global image while an almost equal number (35%) say it will help; 23% say it will have no impact.
The Brazilian government has brushed aside the importance of more delays in completing 2014 World Cup stadiums, saying that missing FIFA’s deadline will not affect the country’s ability to successfully host next year’s tournament.
A day after FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said three stadiums would not be ready in time for the Dec. 31 deadline, Brazilian officials said they actually plan to deliver all six remaining venues after that date.
They claim only three are delayed, with the other three being handed over after the expected date only because of problems accommodating the schedule of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who wants to be present for the ceremonies.
Each Friday, through the Brazil Portal feature “The Week in Review”, the Brazil Institute will highlight Brazil’s news topics in one concise summary.
Last Friday, July 27, 2012, Brazil experienced a contentious moment following the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London. In attendance was President Dilma Rousseff, who became surprised as she watched Marina Silva, an Amazon rainforest campaigner carrying the Olympic Flag into the stadium. While Silva is an affluent figure for environmentalism, several agents from the Brazilian government were angered that the International Olympic committee chose someone in opposition of the Rousseff government. Being that Brazil is next to host the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the country must now consider how they will approach the ceremony. Paulo Sotero of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’s says rather than succumbing to a 2016 Olympic ceremony of Brazilian propaganda, Brazil should illuminate its hardships to glorify its dignified prosperity.
With regards to US-Brazilian economics, the Miami Herald reports that despite the Brazilian slump, trade between Florida and Brazil continues to expand . This fact coincides with the growing campaign to waive visas for Brazilian visitors, a charge led by Florida politicians. The Miami-Dade area is already significantly culturally connected to Brazil, and politicians there believe the visa waiver would bring jobs and stimulate the economy.
As athletes from all over the world congregating in London this week for the Olympics, Dilma Rousseff was among them. The Brazilian President is in England attending the opening ceremonies, and will meet with David Cameron later this week to discuss scientific innovation and the economy. The Games’ commencement has inspired commentary by Brazilian sports Minister Aldo Rebelo on how the 2016 Rio Games will compare.
The case pitting Brazilian laborers against corporate giants BASF and Shell Oil has also seen some development this week. Investigations into workers’ claims that they were exposed to harmful pesticides are ongoing. The workers’ victory seemed ensured when a judge mandated that Shell and BASF put aside 328 million for their compensation, however this measure was blocked later in the week by a different judge.
July 1 marked the 18th anniversary of the Plano Real, the landmark fiscal legislation that introduced the real as Brazil’s currency. O Estado de S.Paulointerviewed Persio Arida, a former Wilson Center Public Policy Scholar and one of the men responsible for the plan’s design and implementation, about the plan’s success almost two decades later.