MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, September 24th 2018 - 05:53 UTC

Lula pledges to block or undo privatizations if returned to office

Saturday, July 28th 2018 - 08:33 UTC
Full article 6 comments
In an article in Correio Braziliense, Lula da Silva said he would reverse the ongoing process to privatize state-run energy company Eletrobras In an article in Correio Braziliense, Lula da Silva said he would reverse the ongoing process to privatize state-run energy company Eletrobras
Unpopular president Michel Temer has pushed forward plans to sell Eletrobras and several members of his administration believe Petrobras should be privatized Unpopular president Michel Temer has pushed forward plans to sell Eletrobras and several members of his administration believe Petrobras should be privatized
Lula da Silva also criticized Temer's decision to allow a joint venture that gives Boeing control of Brazilian plane-maker Embraer Lula da Silva also criticized Temer's decision to allow a joint venture that gives Boeing control of Brazilian plane-maker Embraer
The ex president leads opinion polls despite his corruption and money laundering conviction. He can still appeal the decision The ex president leads opinion polls despite his corruption and money laundering conviction. He can still appeal the decision

Brazilian jailed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva pledged on Friday to block or undo privatizations if he is returned to the office he held from 2003 to 2010.

 Lula da Silva will likely be barred from running for the presidency again by Brazil's electoral court, but his statements are seen as the program of his left-leaning Workers' Party ahead of October's elections.

In an article published in the newspaper Correio Braziliense, Lula da Silva said he would reverse the ongoing process to privatize state-run energy company Eletrobras. He also criticized politicians who contend that oil giant Petrobras needs to be sold.

Unpopular President Michel Temer has pushed forward with plans to sell Eletrobras and several members of his administration believe Petrobras should be privatized.

Lula da Silva also criticized Temer's decision to allow a joint venture that gives Boeing control of Brazilian plane-maker Embraer. The former president vowed to halt the move.

The former president leads the polls despite his corruption and money laundering conviction. He can still appeal the decision, which he deems to be political persecution.

“I have the historical obligation, no matter what my personal circumstances now, of conducting our country to a reencounter with democracy and sovereignty, with a clear commitment to revoke through a popular referendum every measure that damages our independence,” Lula da Silva wrote.

Media in Brazil media have reported that ex Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad is the Workers' Party favorite to replace da Silva as candidate if the former president is indeed barred. Brazil's October election will take place on Oct.7.

Though a member of another party, left-leaning presidential hopeful Ciro Gomes is seen as a potential heir to Lula da Silva's votes and also made the same anti-privatization pledges a few weeks ago.

In a letter to Boeing, Gomes said it is “a grave inconvenience” that Embraer is bought 100 days before Brazil's presidential elections.

Earlier this week, a state-run power company in the state of Piaui was sold in what was considered the kick-off of the process to privatize Eletrobras.

Members of the Temer administration say the measure is necessary so Brazil can reduce its budget deficit and boost the private sector, while critics believe selling Eletrobras will give the country's waters away to foreign companies. Brazil's main energy source is hydroelectricity.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Jack Bauer

    “Lula pledges to block or undo privatizations if returned to office”.
    No surprise. The PT has always favored nationalization of just about everything....and against all good economic sense, that says not to.
    To cut a long story short, today there are 144 federal state-run companies “employing” over 501,000. 18 of these companies have never produced a profit (such as ELP, a company created by Dilma to implement the high-velocity trains for the World Cup...the project has long been scrubbed, but the company still exists, and in 2017 cost the taxpayer R$74 million, for its employees to do nothing). The number of employees in these 18 companies jumped from 37,900 in 2000, to a current 75,000, and in last 10 years have cost the taxpayer R$ 18 billion. And the cost increases 10% per year, while 67% refers to payroll….an average of R$ 14,500/month/employee, or 14.5 times the minimum wage, and way above the nat’l average…and padded with benefits not available to the private sector.
    If the companies were strategic - like Embrapa - a research company producing useful know-how for the agribusiness, good and well. Experts are unanimous in that there's no more room for this kind of waste in Bzl….social security deficit in 2018 estimated at R$ 190 billion ; most of these companies, created to present projects to generate investment - which they haven’t - produce a yearly deficit of 33 billion, 2 times the govt’s total productive investments, which have been cut from 60 billion 5 years ago, to a mere 17 billion. Whenever the issue of privatizing, or shutting them down, arises, Congress refuses to debate the matter. They use the complex example of Petrobras (alleging nat’l security), then generalize ; the only motive behind this is their reluctance to shut down jobs where they can squeeze in their cronies. Is this what Brazil wants for the future , more waste and privileges for those in government, at the expense of the population ? Brazil may not, but Lula does.

    Jul 28th, 2018 - 07:13 pm 0
  • Terence Hill

    JB
    “... in 2017 cost the taxpayer R$74 million, for its employees to do nothing..” and on who's watch is this happening?
    During that period the banks made huge profits, unmatched I believe in any other country.
    The very modest income tax laws applying to those whose income was derived from self employment or investments remained unaltered.
    “They use the complex example of Petrobras ...” Is bit of sacred cow for Brazil?
    So other than attempting to provide some substance for those that were marginalised, and somewhat unwise ventures into the market. By comparison to similar governments in Europe they were rather modest in their political forays.
    The bottom line being in MHO that governance is an art and not a science as marxists would claim. That there is no permanent political success in doctrinaire policies, be they liberal or conservative.

    Jul 29th, 2018 - 02:16 pm 0
  • Brasileiro

    Agreed.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP9c0DqD_KM&t=0s&list=FLmXPTu1f8AdGlizWNiASx2A&index=7

    Jul 29th, 2018 - 02:52 pm 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!