Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for French daily Le Monde is "Man of the Year" for "personifying a giant." It is the first time in its history the French publication, which was founded in 1944, has made this designation.
Lula, who is leaving his term of office in 2010 without performing an amendment to Brazilian Constitution, "knew exactly how to be a democratic figure and fight against poverty," Le Monde wrote about him.
The newspaper described he Brazilian leader as "a referent to emerging countries and also to the developing world." Lula, 64, has, according to the French publication, "positioned his country in the world."
The Brazilian president will be leaving his term of office at the end of 2010, without intending to perform a constitutional amendment and, thanks to this, being unable to get re-elected. Le Monde portrays him as the one president who was able to "offer a new image to Latin America." And adds: "Lula's excellent reputation is Brazil's renovation."
The article, written by Rio de Janeiro news correspondent Jean Pierre Langellier, outlines Lula's profile and praises his administration. "Lula seems to be interested in everything: diplomacy, commerce, energy, climate, immigration, space, drugs," the articles describes.
Lula was the first Latin American president Barack Obama received in the White House. According to Le Monde's view, he came ahead because the former union leader has successfully directed a country that is complex, focusing on economic development, inequality and the protection of the environment. Obama referred to him "as the most popular politician in the world."
The profile the article describes includes pros and cons. As it states: "Even though Lula has cut poverty figures and millions of Brazilians have improved their ways of living, his country remains to be one of the most unbalanced nations in the world, strongly divided between a rich south and a forgotten north."
A to-do list and "unresolved matter issues" are also included in Le Monde's article. Those are: "Primary and secondary low-level education, deficient health care system, heavy bureaucracy, inefficient police and a lazy justice."
Lula has been in the media spotlight all through 2009, thanks to his policies and the way in which he has positioned Brazil in the international focus.