Brazilian Reforms Don’t Include Cutting Civil Servants, Says Lula

Brazilian reelected President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva strongly defended "urgent changes" in the leadership of his Workers Party and answered criticisms from former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso who has promised "no truce" to the Brazilian president’s second administration.

"The Workers Party (PT) leadership is convinced changes are necessary, as soon as possible", said Lula who nevertheless recalled that the PT is made up "of millions" and just "but a few" caused problems during the campaign.

President Lula was referring to the last string of scandals involving political espionage and which stained the last leg of his campaign in the first round of voting and forced the resignation among others of the PT chairman Ricardo Berzoini.

The Brazilian president also criticized his predecessor in the job, PSDB former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1994-2002) who on Monday anticipated "no truce" in his relation with the Workers Party administration.

"I’m deeply disappointed that a former president should act as if he were a radical 18/19 year old student, fighting everybody and everything," said Lula, adding that Cardoso is "completely wrong" in his attitude, "he should be thinking in helping the country, not instigating".

Lula reiterated that his second administration’s commitments are: sponsoring development, income distribution, quality education and denied any sacking or reduction in the number of government employees.

"In a country with unemployment problems, it’s not possible to cut the number of civil servants or staff. There’s no room for sacrificing those who serve the Brazilian society," he argued.

The Brazilian president also sent a message to the business community saying that no big changes can be expected in the cabinet before January first when he formally begins his second mandate, and insisted that Finance Minister Guido Mantega will remain in the job.

"He’s my minister until I say so. I have a working administration and I decide who is minister and who’s not", emphasized Lula da Silva.

"There has been much speculation lately about the national (football) team and the ministerial cabinet, and many like to bet on that. But let me tell you Dunga (Brazil’s coach) names the team, and I name ministers, is that clear?"

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