Looking for Leadership

Aug 30, 2003

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has steered Brazil away from the brink of collapse. But jobs remain scarce, poverty is pervasive and investors are few.

It is nine months since President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva marched triumphantly up the ramp of the presidential Planalto Palace in Brasília at an emotional inaugural ceremony. Many Brazilians expected that once his Workers Party (PT) was in power, their lives would quickly begin to improve. They have been disappointed - one in eight workers is unemployed and incomes in May were down 15% in real terms. With per capita GDP growth near stagnant, the economy is barely ticking over. Lula, an inspired politician and the son of a migrant worker from the impoverished northeast of Brazil, was careful from the very start of his four-year term not to inflate expectations. However, he did promise to immediately, "Recover the dignity of the Brazilian people, recover self-respect and spend each penny that we have to improve the standard of living of all women, men and children."...

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