The Brazilian Scene – VIII

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By BENÍCIO VIERO SCHMIDT*

Comments on recent events

One of the highlights of this week was the reaction of financiers, economists and top businessmen from the national scene - totaling more than XNUMX signatures - in a letter delivered to Minister Paulo Guedes questioning the government's handling of the health crisis. It is undoubtedly a monumental pressure group. The letter does not indicate a landing of support for the government, but it signals a strong opposition to the methods adopted so far to elaborate and execute public policies.

Added to this is the great indecision arising from the discreet inauguration of the new minister of health who, regrettably, pronounces saying that it will be a continuation of the management of former minister Eduardo Pazuello, of sad memory. In this scenario, this demonstration by economists and businessmen should be seen as a manifesto that marks a turning point in the relationship between these sectors and the Federal government.

The budget for the year 2021 (yet) – approved by the Chamber of Deputies and forwarded to the Federal Senate – reserves 20% of investments in infrastructure for the Armed Forces, a notable increase. The Ministry of Defense was the most benefited, especially to the detriment of health. Expenses with the Armed Forces include not only investments in the atomic submarine, in aircraft, tanks and armored weapons, but also the increase in the payroll of military servants, the only career that will have its salaries readjusted within the scope of the Executive.

Minister Marco Aurélio Mello of the STF rejected the President of the Republic’s proposal to coarcate the governors of the Federal District, Bahia and Rio Grande do Sul. Marco Aurélio rejected it due to the norms of federalism in force in the country, which, without a doubt, were imposed in this crucial episode. The Presidency of the Republic cannot change the federal system of the country without a constitutional change.

Due to the growing number and intensity of criticism of the Presidency of the Republic and the Federal Government, the use of the National Security Law in the arrest and opening of investigations against people who challenge the government has increased substantially. The new target of this Law was the former senator, former deputy, former minister, former governor, Ciro Gomes. He joins other YouTube commentators, accused of putting the country at risk with their criticism of the handling of the health crisis. Many congressmen are trying to change this version of the National Security Law (from 1983), perhaps replacing it with a law defending the democratic rule of law.

The STF ruled in favor of the suspicion of former judge and former minister Sergio Moro in the case of the triplex trial that condemned former President Lula. The legal implication of this decision is great, since it determines how the Federal Court of the Federal District will proceed with this process.

*Benicio Viero Schmidt is a retired professor of sociology at UnB. Author, among other books, of The State and urban policy in Brazil (LP&M).

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