Friday, June 17, 2005


José Dirceu leaves government

Chief of Staff José Dirceu left the government yesterday.
President Lula didn´t ask him to leave, but didn´t ask him to stay either.

Dirceu was, along with Finance Minister Antonio Palocci, the strongest Minister of Lula´s government.
Dirceu is also (differently from Palocci) a strong leader of the Worker´s Party.

Dirceu said that he is leaving to as to have more freedom to defend himself, the Government and the Party.
The troubles of Dirceu started in February 2004, when Waldomiro Diniz, Dirceu´s advisor, was caught involved in acts of corruption.
More recently, with the explosion of cases of corruption in Federal corporations, the name of Dirceu gained the headlines again. As chief of staff, Dirceu was the person who appointed persons to hold key positions in all State companies and all State bodies.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


Interest Rate: no changes

On the Wednesday, the Central Bank of Brazil maintained the basic interest rates at 19.75% p.a.
The board of Central Bank meet every month to deffine the interest rates. It was the first time in nine months that there was not a increase in rates.
It has been also the first time in several months that analysts forecast a downturn in future inflation; currently, the estimatives for inflation are around 6.3% for 2005, slightly above the inflation target of 5.5%.

The real interest rate of Brazil is still by far the highest in the world. With a nominal rate of 19.75%, and inflation of around 7%, the real interest rate in Brazil is around 12%.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Police arrests owners of Schinchariol

The Federal Police and the Revenue Agency arrested today owners and directors of Schinchariol, a large industry in the beer and soft drinks sector; read more about Brazilian beer.

The operation happened simultaneously in 13 States. More than 60 people were arrested, including several members of family Schinchariol who held positions of the board of the company.

Police and Tax Auditors say that the company was dodging more than R$ 600 million per year in taxes. This was the largest case of tax evasion ever uncovered in Brazil.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Roberto Jefferson speaks before the Comission of Ethics

Tuesday, June 14th, Brasilia stopped to listen to Roberto Jefferson, who spoke before the Comission of Ethics of the Deputies Chamber. This Comission is composed only by Deputies, who judge the conduct of Deputies who may have acted unethically; this Comission is a step towards lost of mandate. The Comission of Ethics does not preclude the work of a Probing Comission.

Jefferson repeated all the declarations he had given to the press a few days before. He declared that Delubio Soares, cashier of the Worker´s Party, was paying cash to leaders of some Parties (namely, PP and PL) to obtain political support. Even under extrem pressure, Jefferson didn´t flinch. He mentioned the names of politicians who he is certain to have received money, like Valdemar Costa Neto (President of Liberal Party) and Pedro Correia (leader of the Popular Party).
Jefferson repeated that a few important Ministers had been already communicated about the ilegal situation; among them, Finance Minister Palocci and Chief of Staff José Dirceu. Jefferson tried to make it clear, though, that President Lula was not aware of the situation, and, as soon as he learned about it, the payments stopped.

Jefferson came up with new charges: he said that the Worker´s Party agreed, in exchange for political support, with paying R$ 20 million to PTB (Jefferson´s Party); however, only R$ 4 millions were actually paid. Jefferson said that he and Genoino, President of PT, agreed in not declaring that money transfer to the Electoral Justice, as prescribed by the law.
Jefferson admitted so to being a criminal, but he also involved PT and Genoíno. Jefferson said he doesn´t want to defend himself or his mandate; all he wants is to protect his Party, PTB, from a conspiration which, according to him, was setup by the Government and the Press.

Sunday, June 12, 2005


Weekly Magazines

Veja #1909 and IstoE #1860 both bring on the cover reports about the Worker´s Party.

Veja 1909Veja asks on the cover "Who else?". Besides Roberto Jefferson and Delubio Soares, who else is involved with corruption inside the government?
Veja also interviews Fernando Gabeira. Gabeira was mentor and one of the executors of the kidnapping of the American Ambassador in Brazil, Charles Elbrick, during the dictatorship; his group released the Ambassador in exchange for the freedom of some political prisoners, including today´s Chief of Staff Jose Dirceu; read more about Gabeira.
Gabeira is much respected by the leftists of Brazil. In 2004, he left the Worker´s Party, saying that Lula and his government had diverted too far from the social ideals that inspired the creation of the Party. In this interview, Gabeira says that the Worker´s Party is over; "today, the marketing is more important than the social", he says, noting that Lula spent more time talking to and artists than to the Minister of Education. The full interview is here.

Isto EIsto É writes on the cover "The Hope is under siege".
During his Presidential campaign, Lula's motto was "Let the Hope win the Fear". Right after his winning, Lula said "at last, the Hope won the Fear". Lula always said that he would bring Hope to the poor, but the Fear instigated by the elites would prevent him from winning the elections.
Isto É is now putting into doubt how much of the Hope can be realized.

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