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
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