Brazil’s Lula Finds Culprit for Global Crisis: White People with Blue Eyes

Brazilian Lula and British Brown Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown agreed to call on G20 to provide US$ 100 billion in trade credit, a quick completion of global trade talks and for countries breaking free-trade agreement to be named.

In a joint statement ahead of the G20 next week, PM Brown  – who arrived in Brasí­lia Thursday – , and President Lula welcomed the development of the strategic partnership between Brazil and the UK, and reaffirmed their shared vision of the world.

"I'm going to ask the G20 summit next week to support a global expansion of trade finance to reverse a slide in world trade,"  Brown told a news conference after meeting with Lula.

"It is absolutely vital, if we are to move forward from this recession that world trade is resumed to the benefit of all importing and exporting countries. And the US$ 100 billion proposal is the minimum we need to kick-start trade in the next month," Brown argued.

Lula stepped in to support Brown's message and warned that protectionist measures would only bring major risks. "We have got to get investments flowing again and above all the flow of trade," said the Brazilian leader. "That is why this proposal is so important".

"I usually compare trade protectionism with drugs" said Lula. "While people look to drugs for immediate satisfaction, what follows is deep depression. With protectionism, it's the same thing."

The two leaders also said countries should adopt more fiscal and monetary stimulus to help combat the global economic crisis and called for tougher financial market regulations.

Leading industrial and developing nations, including Brazil, will attend the G20 summit Brown hosts in London on April 2.

"If the G20 becomes a meeting just to set another meeting, we'll be discredited and the crisis can deepen," Lula said during a joint press conference with Brown.

"We must not let the crisis drag on as long as the Japanese crisis did," he said, in reference to a decade of stagnation in the Asian country.

Lula and Brown also called for "an early and comprehensive resolution of the Doha Development Round on the basis of the significant results achieved so far."

Brown said the international community should monitor the compliance of trade agreements and single out any violators.

"We must name and make public those countries that break agreements they have made, that they be monitored by the World Trade Organization and abide by its rules," Brown said.

Brown is on the third stop of a tour through Europe, Latin America and the United States to seek support for a G20 meeting of leading economies that will discuss measures to tackle the global financial crisis.

Lula and Brown said in the joint statement that the G20 meeting was a vital opportunity to take international action required to "restore global demand through concerted and coordinated fiscal and monetary policy action."

Some European leaders have opposed US President Barack Obama's calls to agree to larger stimulus packages at the G20 meeting.

Brown and Lula also want the G20 to implement fundamental reforms of the international financial system and its regulations.

"The Washington Consensus is dead," Brown said, referring to the set of policy recommendations prescribed by the IMF, the World Bank and often the US government for developing countries in crisis during the 1980s and 1990s.

It was impossible to solve problems of 2009 with institutions created decades ago, Brown said.

The UK strongly supports Brazil's bid to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and praises its role in the G20, Brown said.

Lula has been one of the most outspoken advocates of giving developing countries more say in multilateral organizations like the International Monetary Fund. He has also been a fierce defender of freer farm trade, trying to forge a common front among developing nations.

Lula once again said that the economic global crisis was created by the rich countries and that the poor ones should not be penalized by the North's excesses.

"We cannot allow that the poor pay for a crisis made by the rich, mainly because it was not generated by any black, Indian or poor. This crisis was made by white people, with blue eyes, who before the crisis knew everything and, now, know nothing," he said. 

The Brazilian leader has often blamed the United States for causing a global crisis by practicing "casino capitalism."

Mercopress/Bzz

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