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Montevideo, March 21st 2019 - 01:47 UTC

Brazil's industries lobby, FIESP, ready to join a presidential ticket

Saturday, June 16th 2018 - 11:18 UTC
Full article 23 comments

Brazilian presidential candidate Ciro Gomes has sounded out steelmaking tycoon Benjamin Steinbruch as a possible vice presidential running mate in October and allegedly he would join the ticket if invited. Read full article


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  • :o))


    At least pay THESE bills:

    !º: Guess Who is paying these bills?
    2º: NOBODY wants to know how much is being spent by the other crooks!

    Jun 17th, 2018 - 09:12 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Seems an odd pairing. I guess Gomes wants to signal that he is not too radical and gain support from industry, as well as have a connection with the South-East where he isn't as well known?

    Jun 17th, 2018 - 10:22 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • :o))


    True! In the meanwhile:

    If you know/understand [!?! - difficult] the politicians; ANY kind of alliance - justifiable or not [to common sense] - is welcome! THEY can always justify it!

    Jun 17th, 2018 - 10:48 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    “Such a ticket joining the center-left populist from northeast Brazil with a billionaire industrialist family from the wealthier southeast would be expected to boost Brazilian national industry with strong state backing if elected.”

    That is exactly what I'm not so sure if I like ...“expected to boost Brazilian national industry with strong 'state backing' if elected.”......IF the combination - centre-left populist from the NE, with a billionaire industrialist family from the wealthier southeast - were to be effective, and not just a convenient situation in which the former is trying to appear less radical than he is, the potential VP (Steinbruch) would need to be able to counter-balance his future boss's populism. And the problem with “strong State-backing”, is that one never knows what that really means....perhaps more State intervention in sectors of the economy that are traditionally privately-run, and political control of key industries, with the possibility of seeing a repeat episode of Lula /PB, just this time Ciro/ FIESP-metallurgical industry ?? While Brazil needs to reconstruct its infrastructure and increase industrial productivity, I just hope that this does not involve larger State participation in industry, with the consequent political use of it, which as we saw in PB, were disastrous for the company as well as for Brazil.

    Ciro Gomes has been around long enough to be known nationally, but do not recall any significant contribution of his, other than bad-mouthing everyone in power when it suits him.
    AFAIC, someone who claims to have all the answers, does not sound particularly trustworthy.

    Jun 17th, 2018 - 10:34 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • :o))


    REF: “Ciro Gomes ...................................other than bad-mouthing everyone in power when it suits him”:

    AND his “affair” with an actress! AND:

    Jun 18th, 2018 - 10:56 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Why metallurgical industry? Is that what the FIESP represents? I guess 'strong state-backing' IS quite vague, and you'll only find out what it really means if he's elected.

    If Gomes has been around long enough to be known, have you heard whether he's been involved in any corruption scandals?

    Wikipedia says he was Finance Minister under Itamar Franco during the implementation of the Plano Real and Minister for National Integration (whatever that is) under Lula. I do find it a little weird that the same people remain in power under different governments, in the UK all the ministers are changed when a different party wins the general election. I guess the large number of parties makes coalitions inevitable so no one party can govern alone?

    Did Gomes also badmouth Lula when Lula was in power?

    Jun 18th, 2018 - 06:01 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    The FIESP (Federation of Industries of SP) represents ALL SP industries, but I singled out the metallurgical industry because the CSN (Cia Nacional de Siderurgia) is where Steinbruch came from, besides CSN being the largest of its kind in S.America. These “connections” - between Steinbruch, Ciro and the CSN - could lead to some not very transparent deals.

    Ciro has been around for quite some time : he served 3 terms in Congress, was governor of Ceará, Finance Minister during the beginning of Itamar Franco's presidency (2 year fill-in after Collor was impeached), and was not responsible for the “Plano Real” project, in 1994...that was FHC). Up to now, he has apparently managed to keep his nose relatively clean...I believe his brother, Cid Gomes, also a politician (as the whole family has always been in politics) has been accused of corruption or something, but so far has not been formally charged.

    “I do find it a little weird that the same people remain in power under different governments..”......not really, if you understand that despite all the different parties and the personal attacks, under it all they are all the same...just vieing for power and patting each other on their backs in private after insulting each other in public...there is no loyalty to anything other than whatever feeds their pride and gets them what they want. Here we say politicians are “physiological”, in the sense that they will adapt to whatever situation which is the most convenient at the moment.

    While Ciro is quite well-educated, he is definitely a socialist...however, I have the impression he is slightly different to Lula, in that Lula was not a socialist by conviction, but rather, due to dreams of power which could only be attained under a socialist, Bolivarian-style regime.

    Did he badmouth Lula ? While Lula was in power, not really - as everything was apparently going well, so any criticism would be seen as sour grapes - but after Dilma took over, and now, plenty.

    Jun 18th, 2018 - 07:00 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    “These “connections” - between Steinbruch, Ciro and the CSN - could lead to some not very transparent deals.”

    Right. I suppose its the usual thing where being too involved in an industry leads politicians to favour it. Maybe not always even deliberately, but there's plenty of incentives for politicians in Brazil to do it deliberately.

    Anyway, Ciro and anyone else who hasn't been accused must be thanking their lucky stars, whether it's because they stayed out of it or just haven't been caught yet.

    Do you think the more 'radical' politicians, whether socialist or right-wing like Bolsonaro, are less cosy with the group (patting each other on their backs in private etc) and care more about their ideology, or just the same as the centrist ones?

    And what about the other candidate with reasonably high support, Marina Silva? Has she done anything noteworthy?

    Jun 18th, 2018 - 09:34 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • :o))

    Car-Wash, WASHED?

    Jun 19th, 2018 - 09:21 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    I think that most politicians - not all - that have not been denounced, is simply because they have not been caught....yet. But they all have their Achilles heel .
    I think that the more radical politicians - from either extreme - are probably less prone to be patting their adversaries on the back, because they more likely believe what they preach.

    Marina Silva has not done anything worthy of note, but one thing few people forget, was her posture in the 2014 the 2nd round, Aécio x Dilma, instead of declaring her support for one or the other, she sat on the fence....had she positioned herself on Aécio's side, he'd have won, and if she had sided with Dilma, the latter would have won with a larger margin.

    Need space to reply to the continuation of “Brazilian consumer prices climb 0,4 %...”tks.

    Jun 20th, 2018 - 04:35 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    “I think that the more radical politicians - from either extreme - are probably less prone to be patting their adversaries on the back, because they more likely believe what they preach.”

    That's what I thought, too. If you're just doing it for the power and the money then why be a radical? But then again, sometimes being radical might be the best way to get those things, if the majority are dissatisfied with the status quo? What about Chavez, for example?

    You think Marina Silva should have picked a side, then? Why didn't she, surely she couldn't possibly think there was no difference between them?

    Jun 20th, 2018 - 05:28 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Most local politicians are opportunists, using ideology when/where they see fit. Chavez got to power by preaching socialism - as a solution to the poor's problems .. well, we know it wasn't.

    People expected Marina, Eduardo Campos' sucessor (killed in an aircrash), to support Aé Campos would've done hadn't he died, and hadn't reached the 2nd round...she disappointed Campos' supporters.

    (Cont. of Bzln consumer prices climb 0,4 %...)
    Mujica wasn’t a dictator, but identified with/ supported Lula unconditionally. Can’t remember exact figures, but Lula spent more days out of Brazil than in it during his presidency ; he loved to get away from his responsibilities and to travel abroad – always to see his “friends”, as he never felt comfortable with the better educated Europeans – he seemed to be permanently on campaign.

    In the NE, the oligarchic families ran their States as feudal masters, making sure that when they stepped down, their children took over, to perpetuate their policies.

    “… you not excepted, explains why people have tolerated it in their leaders”…
    You have a point there, but in ‘my’ defense, can say that back then, some cops used to abuse their authority, with the intent of forcing bribery….on one occasion, I challenged the cop and told him to fine me…I said I would denounce him, accusing him of soliciting a bribe ...could see he wasn’t too pleased, but backed down…w/o fining me.

    As to people tolerating corruption in their leaders, don’t think it’s due to a conscious and logical mental process, but rather because people are generally badly informed about political corruption, or aren’t interested, as it appears that the crowds priorities are elsewhere…such as soccer matches, carnival, gay parades etc…and it’s the poorer people, who suffer the effects of the lousy public infrastructure (health etc), that don’t seem to associate their plight with the corruption….reason why, IMO, they keep on electing the same trash.

    Jun 20th, 2018 - 07:08 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    RE Chavez, what I wonder is how much he believed what he preached. He could have wanted power either way so that doesn't tell us.

    Didn't one of your supreme court judges also die in a plane crash? Seems kind of suspicious, were they thoroughly investigated?

    “Mujica wasn’t a dictator, but identified with/ supported Lula unconditionally.”

    Lula wasn't a dictator either, and they were natural allies. I can't see anything objectionable about Mujica, especially compared to Chavez and Castro.

    Didn't know Lula spent so much time travelling. I don't remember him visiting Britain, but apparently he did back in 2006. Perhaps you should be glad he spent so much time abroad rather than governing at home, since you dislike him and his ideas so much?

    The cops asked for the bribes, then, you didn't have to offer? Or do as I have heard someone tried in America; hand back the speeding ticket with banknotes folded up inside it, nothing said?

    For any individual person, it must be easier and safer (as well as financially advantageous) to go along with the corruption, but that applies to politicians as much as to those getting speeding tickets. It's probably not a conscious thing like you say, but more people accepting (rightly or wrongly) that they can't change anything, so they might as well enjoy what they can. And so that belief becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    What car were you driving back then, to break all those speed limit laws?

    Jun 20th, 2018 - 10:11 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Regarding Chavez, what I mean is that he preached socialism because he knew it would appeal to the people, considering their situation after decades of being left to their own luck.

    Right, Teori Zavaski died in January 2017. Alexandre de Morais replaced him, indicated by Temer.

    Sure, neither Mujica nor Lula were dictators....although Lula's ambition was to transform Brazil into a Bolivarian state, with ONE main party - the PT - in which he would be the eternal leader....Dilma's demise and the Lavajato put an end to all that.....why d'you think that Lula and the PT are so intent on regaining power ? their fanaticism far exceeds the ambition of normal politicians, to them there is far more at stake than just being government. It's more like a cult.

    Lula only visted Europe, and reluctantly, when he was obliged to, but he went willingly to see his friends. His absence was not a big deal, as he rarely - or never - got down to hard work...except when to plan the next robbery.

    With the cops you knew when you were being pulled over for a legitimate reason or whether it was to extort, you'd either hand him your documents with money folded inside, or after a very brief conversation, you would shake the cops hand and slip him a couple of banknotes. I remember once being stopped for speeding and after taking the bribe, the cop even alerted me that a few miles further on there was another speed trap...very considerate of him.
    I consider bribing cops slightly different to political are not using taxpayer money to bribe them, nor are you stealing. It's like when a country has extremely an extremely high, of unfair taxation system, it encourages tax evasion. If the country's biggest problem was bribing cops (and similar) it wouldn't dent the national budget.

    I had a 'souped -up' SP2, a VW sportscar (designed in Brazil, which was later used as the basis for the design of one of Porsche's models, the 944 I think. Its top speed was 190 kph.

    Jun 21st, 2018 - 03:45 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Okay, so you don't think Chavez believed in his ideology, but just used it to gain power. And you don't know what Lula's ambition was, unless you've suddenly developed psychic powers. Personally, I think the fact he didn't try to get the term limit removed - like so many presidents in Latin America have attempted - and he didn't take over all the institutions of the state like Chavez, argues against your theory. And it's not like you need a special explanation why Lula and the PT want power; that's pretty much a given for any politician.

    Wikipedia says Teori Zavaski was in charge of trials from Lava Jato, which makes his death seem even more suspicious. What caused the crash, officially?

    Did you ever have a cop refuse the bribe? It seems like a big risk to me, isn't the penalty for bribing a cop a lot bigger that for speeding? How much did you save each time?

    Sure, bribing cops isn't as bad as political corruption, but it's still bad for the country in minor ways, and it's a symptom of a larger issue. If you can bribe the cops in a country then you can pretty much guarantee that that isn't its biggest problem. And in both cases one person alone can't do much to change it.

    I had never heard of the SP2, apparently it was only produced and sold in Brazil. This article says it looked nice but wasn't too powerful:

    The article mentions the Scirocco being sold in Europe around the same time; my parents had a 2nd gen one from 1983 and my Mum kept driving it right up until it died in about 2001. Now I have a boring, sensible car (Toyota Avensis, a favourite with taxi drivers) but my partner has a Lotus, which is neither sensible nor boring.

    Jun 21st, 2018 - 09:11 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    “.. you don't know what Lula's ambition was, unless you've developed psychic powers”.

    Don't need psychic powers to understand Lula - his radical rants 'n his declared ideas on what he (and his ex-closest aide, José Dirceu, a declared commie) wanted for Brazil.

    When Congress approved FHC's 2nd term (to consolidate the Plano Real), Lula / PT were against it....until, of course, he was elected 'n saw he too could take advantage of it.
    You may recall I've already referred to the PT's opportunistic behaviour : their isolated 'n regular opposition to legislation, if not proposed by them and/or their allies, in which case they try to block it...later, when beneficial results appear, they either deny they were ever against it, or even try to claim paternity ; ex : 1988 Constitution, plano Real, 2nd consecutive presidential term, 'bolsa-familia'....When they are later in a position to benefit from it, they have no scruples in using it.
    Youtube has a video showing one of Lula's 'before' and 'after' moments : his strong criticism of the BF (when implemented by FHC), stating it was no more than a ruse to fool the poor ; Later, in power, when he WAS using it politically, he had the nerve to say “there are people who claim the BF is just a strategy to get votes”. It's clear his convictions aren't very firm, and only for show, changing them according to the moment. Wanting power to do some good is one thing, wanting it for personal gain is very different. Strangely enough, what stood between Lula and his megalomaniac ambition, was Congress.

    Official explanation for Teori's death : pilot mistake.
    Usually, the way cops approach 'n their body language, told you what to do. The (few) times I bribed them, it was “reluctantly” or gladly accepted. It was usually small compared to the fine. When the system is unfair, you look for ways to compensate.

    That's why I made alterations to the engine, wheels and suspension, reducing 0 to 60 in half the time, and increasing top speed.

    Jun 22nd, 2018 - 08:03 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Was this the video?

    I tried using the automatic translation on the subtitles; amusing but useless. It's frustrating because I can pick out some of the words, but not enough to make any sense of it. The only bit I think I understood was when he said people vote with their stomach and not the head, and that was mostly due to the gestures.

    (I never thought before of why so many things are on video instead of text in Brazil, but I suppose it's because a significant portion of the population are still illiterate. Hopefully education is better now so this will change in the future.)

    Anyway, in the first part he said bolsa familia a lot, but in the second (earlier?) section, not once. IIRC there were several social programs before Lula took over, which he combined and expanded to form the BF. So which one was he talking about in this interview? The subtitle says 'cesta básica', which according to this article is a rather curious legacy of Getúlio Vargas's labour law:

    I also read this about the similarities and differences between the BF and earlier programs, which helps explain some of it:

    Anyway, changing his tune according to what is convenient tends to suggest Lula was like other politicians in wanting power, not that he was particularly fanatical.

    Re the cops, do you think fines for speeding are unfair? In the UK you get a fine and also points on your licence, if you get too many you are disqualified. Also, if you are way, way over the speed limit, you can expect to lose your licence immediately. It's a better incentive to obey the law IMO.

    Must have been annoying that you weren't allowed to import cars back then. What happened to yours, anyway? The article suggested they are valuable now, since they have become rare.

    Jun 22nd, 2018 - 10:43 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    That's the start of the video you see him (as president) lashing out at criticism of the BF (conceived originally as various, more specific social programs in the State of SP, and then spread nationally by FHC, which Lula unified into one), saying that those against it, who described it as giving pennies to beggars, are ignorant, and backward.
    First, he never said WHO was against it ; second, no one in the previous government WAS against it – how could they be if they had created it ? ; third, he denied it was being used as a political tool.
    In the second part of the video (only a few years earlier), before he became president, he appears lamenting that “voting is not based on ideology” (why bring ideology into the picture if what matters is a strong economy ?), and claiming that the BF induces people to reason with their stomachs instead of their heads, and that the BF was exactly the same thing as giving out “cestas básicas” (food baskets, based on the bare minimum to survive), and as what the first colonizers did with the Indians, trying to ‘buy’ them with cheap necklaces etc, and that the BF just perpetuates this “secular form of domination”.
    And then, only a few years later, once elected, he reneges everything he had said before.

    After the military returned power to the civilians, Lula was the only politician who came up with something as nefarious as the Foro de SP…and he still believes in it. Don’t see how he will improve Brazil by turning it into another VZ.

    No, I don’t think fines are unfair….just the way they were handed out, sometimes arbitrarily. They exist for a good reason but must be applied responsibly. We too have a similar point system, with punishment varying with the seriousness of the offense.

    I bought the SP2 in '74, sold it 3 years later, because it only a two-seater and I needed a larger car for work. Being rare, and in the condition I sold it, it WOULD be valuable today, but sometimes you've gotta move on.

    Jun 23rd, 2018 - 01:51 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Interesting. I suppose you would agree more with his earlier interview; that people vote for politicians who promise to give them things, rather than what is best for the country in the long term, and that the parties are too much based on convenience/seeking power and have no clear ideology to differentiate them.

    As for who is against the BF, didn't you object to it in it's current form, saying it should be a temporary measure to help people get on their feet instead of a permanent benefit? I think the PSDB are trying to have it both ways too, by objecting to Lula's social programs but then turning around and claiming to have invented the BF.

    And it's not the BF, but aren't food baskets exactly what happens in the north? The oligarchs hand out food etc to persuade people to vote for them, perpetuating those self-serving political dynasties you mentioned?

    Anyway, I'm not too surprised that Lula hypocritically changed his mind once in power, it's a rare politician who sticks to what they have said before rather than changing their ideas when convenient.

    Do any other Brazilian parties subscribe to the FdSP? I would have thought the communist party, at least?

    RE speeding fines, they can be unfair, especially if the police forces or local authorities both make the rules and keep the money. I have heard of counties in the US where the speed limit is purposely set much lower than is necessary for safety, so they can farm passing motorists for cash. But mostly limits here in England seem reasonable for the conditions and the police enforce them proportionately. If you had known you would get points and a fine, and couldn't bribe your way out, I bet you would have been a bit less willing to break the speed limits back in the 70s, right?

    Jun 23rd, 2018 - 12:07 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Not really. The concept of the BF was quite reasonable, provided properly administered and actually contributing to people’s re-insertion into society.
    Lula was against the BF earlier on because it was NOT a PT idea. It’s the way his mind works, be against everything proposed by the PSDB, even if it’s OK;
    When he took over, and the BF took on its current form, the rules said it was to be temporary - 2 or 3 years at most - and to carry-on in it, a recipient would need to prove they deserved to ; the PT chose to ignore the fact people overstayed their time in the program, and actually convinced most recipients that if the PT lost a presidential election, they too, would lose the benefit.
    The PSDB did not use the 'bolsas’ carry on, it demanded the beneficiaries prove they were meeting their obligations. The PSDB is claiming nothing, it’s just me that is informing you.

    The BF is a debit card into which the funds are credited monthly, so the beneficiary uses it as he wants.
    Right, the oligarchs hand out food, or one foot of a pair of sandals (the other foot only after the election), or whatever…but ONLY at election time.

    Every politician, like anyone, has the right to change his mind…but they should justify it… In Lula’s case, his initial opposition against important projects presented by his adversaries, and his later ‘change of mind’ was his way of trying to avoid others taking credit for good legislation....Don't know how many good projects never matured, thanks to the PT, but do know the ones they tried to block, and failed.
    Only the commie radicals stand behind the FdeSP : PCdoB, PSOL, (part of) PT and Solidariedade.

    I’ve also read about unfair fining practices in small US counties, obviously a racket involving a few in the local police force. The fact that in the 70’s, there weren’t many cops or speed traps on highways, nor any point system, pretty much let you do what you wanted. Not saying I was right, but it was fun….for a while

    Jun 23rd, 2018 - 10:28 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    “The PSDB is claiming nothing, it’s just me that is informing you.”

    One of those articles I linked earlier said the PSDB were claiming to have created the BF, despite the fact it was based on several programs, some of which predated their term in office, and was greatly expanded by Lula. I know there were always requirements to receive the BF, but how well they were enforced (under any president), is open to question.

    Now Temer has been president for a while, people can judge for themselves if their benefits were adversely affected. However, if they do think so, they can't vote for Lula but must guess who else
    would best support them.

    Lol at the unpaired sandal giveaway. How do they know who voted for them, though? Isn't the ballot secret?

    “The BF is a debit card...”

    Is that like a pre-paid card or a bank account the recipients can also pay money into? I don't even know if people still get paid in cash in Brazil or generally have bank accounts.

    “Every politician, like anyone, has the right to change his mind…but they should justify it…”

    Sure. I don't know if the same principle is followed in Brazil, but in Britain, it's the job of the opposition to question and challenge the government, and make sure there's proper scrutiny and real debate before legislation is passed. It's not their job to automatically oppose everything the government does, which sounds like what Lula was doing.

    ”Only the commie radicals stand behind the FdeSP : PCdoB, PSOL, (part of) PT and Solidariedade.“

    Lula wasn't the only politician to support it, then. Just, I guess, the only one to have reached high office.

    ”Not saying I was right, but it was fun….for a while”

    I once went to a music festival in Germany, and the guy who drove us was very excited to get on the unregulated roads. He got up to 130mph several times, but never managed to reach his car's supposed top speed of 155mph. Those roads had a nasty habit of changing from 3 to 2 lanes with the fast lane suddenly disappearing.

    Jun 24th, 2018 - 09:49 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    “The PSDB is claiming nothing, it’s just me that is informing you.”
    Apologise if appeared to be misinforming you, but I wasn't aware of such claims. The first type of 'bolsa', as far as I can remember, started about 30 yrs ago, with Paulo Maluf, ex-governor of SP (now under house arrest), which gave families the right to 2 litres of milk/day...believe others were created but the beneficiaries were bound to certain obligations....this type of social program was expanded (into several specific ones) by Ruth Cardoso, FHC's wife, and it was these that Lula unified under the name BF. the 'expansion under Lula, referred not to the inclusion of new benefits, but by giving it to more people. in the type of benefit,

    Jun 25th, 2018 - 05:08 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Did you post before you finished? It's annoying sometimes that it won't let you reply to your own comment.

    Jun 25th, 2018 - 08:14 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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