March 1, 2004
Contrary to general expectations in late 2002 and early 2003, the year-old administration of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and his team are a short-term success. The hope in the Planalto, the presidential palace, is that the foundation he constructed in 2003 with prudent fiscal policies, low inflation and macroeconomic stability will create the conditions for longer-term economic growth and democratic consolidation.
Lula's style of governance is a curious mix of the past and a relentless commitment to plan for the future. In contrast to all of its predecessors since the return of civilian rule in 1985, this Planalto understands power. It believes the bureaucratic
Lula's approach to government encompasses good management, transparency and accountability - but within the context of state control.