"During these three years in the government, I never supported misuse of public goods, and I never offended Brazil’s Constitution or its democracy," affirmed Brazil’s former Minister of Finance, Antônio Palocci.
He received hearty applause, Tuesday, March 28, during his speech at the inauguration of his successor, Guido Mantega.
Palocci said that he bears no malice towards those who launched accusations against him. "Not even towards those individuals, who, as close as they were to us, accept as the truth words we never uttered and recent facts that don’t go beyond mere accusations or figments of the imagination and groundless charges."
The former minister referred to "a Brazilian tradition of fierce opposition," which made him a victim. "What makes me most confident is the certainty that I sought a new path for a serene and civilized coexistence among opposing forces."
Palocci mentioned various advances achieved during the three years and 86 days he directed the Ministry of Finance.
"President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s Administration, which I had the honor to serve, managed to remove Brazil from the intensive therapy ward of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
"It succeeded in reducing the country’s foreign debt from more than US$ 230 billion at the beginning of 2003 to around US$ 160 billion at present. It was able to chalk up foreign trade figures never before attained."
The ex-minister said that he leaves his post happy that he did his duty. "I am happy mainly for having made a contribution to the betterment of the lives of millions of poor people, whose plates are fuller than they used to be."