Thursday, 22 November, 2018

German business unfazed by Brazil’s new President Jair Bolsonaro

US President Donald Trump speaks from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington DC AFP 2018 Jim WATSONTrump Discusses Trade and Military Cooperation With Brazil's President-Elect
Theresa Hayes | 03 November, 2018, 10:01

Still stinging from the victory of far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's once-mighty Workers' Party now faces some tricky tasks: regaining people's trust, reclaiming its leadership of the left and dealing with its jailed leader.

They have discussed collaboration on "priority foreign policy issues including Venezuela, countering transnational crime, and ways to strengthen economic ties between the United States and Brazil, the two largest economies in the Western Hemisphere", the statement read. The inverse could be true if Bolsonaro himself takes charge.

Brazil's democratic institutions have proven stable, many said, downplaying Mr. Bolsonaro's ability to undermine these institutions. Mr. Bolsonaro swept a runoff election over the weekend, winning almost 55% of the vote to defeat the left-of-centre Fernando Haddad.

Will the Brazil rally last?

Sebastian Munoz, senior programme officer for Latin America at the War on Want group, said Bolsonaro's verbal attacks on indigenous groups "is an attempt to vilify them and generate hate towards them to advance this idea of the need to generate economic growth".

That leader, charismatic former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, led Brazil through a historic boom from 2003 to 2010, but now stands accused of masterminding the large-scale looting of state oil company Petrobras - a massive scandal that has badly damaged the party.

Bolsonaro's rhetoric has proved beneficial to certain sectors.

Brazilian voters hung their hopes on a populist savior in closely-watched weekend elections, sweeping firebrand personality Jair Bolsonaro into the presidential office in a move that has human rights activists and those fearful of a return to authoritarianism on edge.

"The exact details of how his administration plans to achieve (its) objectives are limited", wrote Fitch analysts led by Shelly Shetty. Even Bolsonaro's future chief of staff, Onyx Lorenzoni, said in a Monday radio interview that he only expects to introduce a reform plan next year.

Asked about Brazil's currency, Lorenzoni said Bolsonaro would offer businesses more predictability, but ruled out an exchange rate target. Bolsonaro, as shown by his decision to change political parties nine times in his 28 years in politics, is a wild card.

The UOL news portal, owned by the Grupo Folha, which also controls the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, used Brazil's freedom of information act as the basis for a 2015 article that showed Globo received 565 million reais in federal government spending in 2014. He said the Temer government may approve the deal before leaving.