Brazil’s senate clears second austerity bill

Paulo Trevisani, Djania Savoldi – The Wall Street Journal, 05/27/2015

The Brazilian Senate on Wednesday approved a controversial bill meant to save taxpayer money by reducing pension payments to widows.

The measure is part of a broader effort to reduce the government’s high debt levels, which are threatening the country’s investment-grade rating.

The vote is a victory for President Dilma Rousseff and comes less than a day after Congress cleared another bill that reduces unemployment benefits. Together, the bills will save some 15 billion Brazilian reais ($4.8 billion) in taxpayer money, government officials say.

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Struggling Spain offers engineers to Brazil

AP/ABC News, 05/51/2013

Spain’s development minister is urging Brazil to hire some of the engineers that her own economy doesn’t have room for.

Brazil is beefing up its infrastructure ahead of soccer’s World Cup and the Olympics. And Minister Ana Pastor says Spanish engineers could help, if allowed.

She told Brazilian journalists on Tuesday that she has talked with Brazilian officials about cutting red tape that hinders hiring of foreigners. Among the problems is a lengthy process for certifying university degrees.

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Brazil’s Rousseff Criticizes Austerity as Solution for Crisis

Charles Penty – Bloomberg, 11/17/2012

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff used a speech in recession-hit Spain to criticize austerity as a means of tackling economic crises.

“Policies that only stress austerity are showing their limitations,” Rousseff told an Ibero-American leaders summit today in the Andalusian city of Cadiz, Spain. “Exaggerated and simultaneous fiscal consolidation in every country is not the best response to the global crisis and could make it worse, leading to worse recession.”

While austerity measures may prevent the possibility of a financial collapse, they don’t necessarily help to convince markets or voters, Rousseff said. She spoke as European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told reporters in Cadiz that some European countries were facing a “social emergency” and the region’s priority should be to focus on growth.

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Delays cast doubt on Brazil’s austerity plan

Jeferson Ribeiro – Reuters, 02/23/2011

Brazil’s government has missed its self-imposed deadline to provide details on how it will cut 50 billion reais ($30 billion) from this year’s budget, casting further doubt on whether it will have the discipline to see the measures through and slow an outbreak of inflation.

Senior officials, including Planning Minister Miriam Belchior, announced the size of the cuts to much fanfare on Feb. 9 but provided few specifics on where the budget would be reduced. Belchior said a decree with details would be published no later than Feb. 18. For more see.

Now, as ministries haggle publicly and behind the scenes to be spared the brunt of the tough austerity measures, the announcement has been delayed again to Monday or Tuesday of next week, a source in the presidency’s office told Reuters.

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