Brazil’s Finance Minister Is Untouchable, Says Lula

In a press conference with various radio stations in Brazil, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva declared that the Minister of Finance, Antonio Palocci, will stay in his post.

"Minister Palocci continues to earn all the consideration I had for him before, have now, and will have in the future. And if you want me to say so, I will repeat it here: Palocci is and will remain my minister of Finance," Lula.

The President praised the minister’s performance as head of the government’s economic team.

"Palocci is a minister in whom I have complete and total confidence, and Brazil owes him a lot. I don’t know whether an economist could have accomplished what Palocci did in economic policy."

Drawing a comparison with the previous Administration, Lula cited economic achievements which, in his opinion, "have a great deal to do with our companion, minister Palocci": real growth in the GDP (Gross Domestic Product), which rose from 1.9% in 2002 to its present 4%; a decline in the inflation rate from 12.5% to 4.9%; and a drop in the unemployment rate from 11.7% to 9.4%.

The President also referred to the maintenance of the primary surplus target (the money saved by the government to pay interest on the debt) at 4.25% of the GDP:

"Nobody accumulates a surplus because he or she likes to; we accumulate a surplus because we owe a lot. Our domestic debt amounts to nearly a trillion reais (US$ 451 billion), and we have to tell our creditors – who are frequently a large portion of the Brazilian middle class with bank savings accounts – that they will get their money back," he said.

"We don’t do this because it is wonderful to accumulate a surplus; we do it because it is a demonstration of seriousness," he added.

Agência Brasil

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  • Guest

    Who has a very poor economic performance
    The US has been displaying a very poor economic performance by any standards but its own. In the past 7 years, the US is well behind Brazil’s financial-economic progress by any measures chosen – especially among developing countries. Brazil has chosen the right path, at the right time, and has finally found the best way to get rid of the damaging US influence, which is doing business with fairer business partners.

    And by the way, you cannot refer to an entire country using a personal pronoun like “you”. It is at least a very disrespectful and debasing manner of treating a sovereign country.

  • Guest

    performance of economic team.
    Could anyone remind to this team, and Lula of course, that their economic performance has been average, at best.

    Most developing countries did far better during the last three years.

    Even worse, is your performance because your economy almost collapsed in 2002/3 when others were in recession you werew almost in depression. That explain why your currency collapsed by almost 75 percent.
    So your through was lower than other developing copuntries. This explain that you recovered but from a lower bottom than others. This demultiply the explanation that that your gropwth was subpar at best.
    To demonstrate than my critics are not wrong, just look at Argentina. They went lower than you, as they defaulted on their debts, but their growth rate was 8 or 9 percent since then.
    On the opther hands look at most developing countries. Their crisis was not as severe as you, meaning their through was higher than yours but still had a higher growth than you.

    Any way you measure it, I can only repeat than your growth rate was subpar, at best !

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