Friday, May 20, 2005


Government tries to stop Probing Comission

The opposition parties managed to obtain support among Deputies and Senators to establish a Probing Comission to investigate the corruption in the state owned Postal Service company (see entry of May 16th below).

The Government alleges that the Police and the Public Prosecution are already doing their jobs, and therefore a Probing Comission wouldn´t be necessary.
The Government is trying to persuade Deputies and Senators who signed in for the Comission to retreat their support. This article by O Globo says that the government is using the federal budget to convince Deputies; this happens because in Brazil the government has flexibility to execute the budget.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Central Bank increases interest rate

The Central Bank of Brazil increased the basic interest rate from 19.5% to 19.75% per year.
Read the note of Central Bank of Brazil about interest rates.

The graph below shows the curve of the interest rates since the beginning of government Lula.

interest rates in Brazil

The Central Bank and the market forecast an inflation for 2005 of about 6.3%, above the inflation target, of 5.1%; this would be the main reason to lead to the increase in rates.

Brazil has, by far, the highest real interest rate in the world (real interest rate = nominal rate - inflation). According to O Globo, Brazil has a rate of 13.6% per year, while the second highest, Turkey, is just 6.6%.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Turmoil in Rondonia over a tape showing corruption

On 16th May, Brazilian TV exhibited contents of a video tape showing State Deputies trying to blackmail the Governor of Rondonia.
Besides trying this blackmail, the Deputies managed to get an injunction to prevent the exhibition of the tape in the State of Rondonia.
Revolted, the population besieged the Parliament and the Tribunal in Rondonia.
Read more about corruption in Rondonia.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Gender Gap Survey

A study by the World Economic Forum showed that, among 57 countries surveyed, Brazil ranks 51st in what concerns equality of opportunities between men and women.
Read more here.

Monday, May 16, 2005


France wins I World Cup of Beach Soccer

France won yesterday, May 15th, the first World Cup of Beach Soccer, played in Copacabana, Brazil.

Brazil won many World Championships of beach soccer; click here to read more.
However, this was the first time that FIFA endorsed this sport, and hence this was the first time that a World Cup was organized.

In the final match, France beat Portugal in the penalties decision, after a tie 3 x 3 in the match.
Brazil, which had been defeated by Portugal in the semi-final, won Japan and finished 3rd.
Brazil played with its full force, but was beaten by a better Portugal. Romário, who is about to retire from professional football, started his career as a beach player; he says that he is willing to play the coming editions.
Read report by o Globo about the I World Cup of Beach Soccer.


Cover of weekly magazines

Época brings an article about the affair Ronaldo and Cicarelli.

The cover of IstoÉ reads: "Forget about aging". Inside, a report about new products and therapys which promise to rejuvenate men and women up to ten years.

The cover of Veja brings a photo of a famous Brazilian actor, Raul Cortez, who fought and won a battle against cancer. The report mentions the progress of science in the battle against the disease, showing several cases where the number of cured patients increased.
However, the most important report of Veja is not on the cover: Veja obtained recorded video-tapes which shows a Director of the Brazilian Post Service blatantly accepting bribing and talking about corruption.
As it happens with most State owned companies, the Board of Directors is appointed by the President of Republic, by indication of political parties; in this case, the Director was indicated by the PTB (Partido Trabalhista Brasileiro).
The Director was recorded putting R$3,000.00 cash into is pocket. He went on to say that this money would go to the Party; that the President of the Party and all other dignitaries were aware of the "contribution"; that all other people indicated by the Party to other state-companies would do the same.
The bribe was being paid because a company wanted to become a seller of services to the Correios; Brazil has a strict legislation regarding government contracts, but the Director said that corruption could make things easier. The tape was recorded by this same company, which setup a sting to denounce the corruption.
Full report at Veja issue #1905, May 18th 2005.

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