In an address, Monday, January, on a national radio and television pool, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said that by liquidating Brazil’s debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the country will be able to invest more on the population.
"By gaining sovereignty, we are turning a page in our country’s history. Brazil will move forward under its own power," Lula affirmed in the 9-minute speech.
Lula also noted that "the best thing" is that this financial independence is happening together with a series of other accomplishments by the Brazilian people, just when, according to him, Brazil is achieving the best results in recent years in reducing poverty and distributing income.
According to Lula, the Brazilian government repaid the IMF the US$ 15.5 billion in standby funds obtained to deal with the 2001-2002 crisis.
"We are proving, among other things, that we no longer depend upon foreign loans to keep growing; we can do it with our own resources. This means independence and development," he affirmed.
Among the country’s other recent accomplishments, he highlighted the growth of the salary mass and the increase in personal credit, as well as record exports.
Lula remarked that, when he took office, the country was spending US$ 3 billion per year on social programs. "In 2005 we invested US$ 7.4 billion. And this year we will reach US$ 9.6 billion, directly benefiting 40 million poor Brazilians," he said.
In December the Brazilian government announced it would pay off its US$ 15.5 billion debt to the IMF ahead of time. Last week the managing director of the IMF, Rodrigo de Rato, from Spain, visited Brazil to make the advance payment official.