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Lula Foresees ‘Surprising Growth’ in Brazil Next Year

Bus stop in Curitiba, Brazil Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said this Wednesday, July 28, that he plans to work for the integration of Latin America and Africa after leaving the Presidency of the Republic at the end of next year.

"I wish to work a little on the integration of Latin America and Africa. I think that Brazil is losing extraordinary potential both in the political and in the commercial areas with regard to the African continent," he said in an interview to Rede Correio SAT de Rádio, from Campina Grande, in the state of Paraí­ba.

He added, however, that he should only plan the future after the end of his term in office, in late 2010. "I have been avoiding discussing the future for a simple reason: I do not want to fill my head with concerns that may compete with what I have to worry about to end my term in office well."

Lula also said that he would like to return to living in the Northeast, but that that requires a conversation with his wife, Marisa Letí­cia, who is from the Southeast.

The Brazilian president was born in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, but traveled to São Paulo when he was still a boy and developed his career in São Bernardo, in the Greater São Paulo, first working in metallurgy and then as a union leader and finally as a politician.

In an address in Campina Grande, Lula also said that in February next year he should issue a Growth Acceleration Program (PAC) for the period from 2011 to 2015. According to him, the objective is to leave the budget approved for whoever follows him so it is not necessary to "start from scratch".

The president added that Brazil should present "surprising growth" next year. "Brazil is overcoming the crisis, and next year we should have surprising growth."

He attributed part of the crisis to panic and recalled that, in the meetings he has been having with heads of other countries, like US president Barack Obama and the French Nicolas Sarkozy, he has only heard praise to the Brazilian economic policy.

"And it should only improve, do not believe that there is space for worsening," he said.

In Campina Grande, Lula inaugurated the Paraí­ba Federal Institute, a technical school with secondary level courses in areas like information technology and mining and higher-level courses in information technology.

ABr

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