The Brazilian Scene – XXIV

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By BENÍCIO VIERO SCHMIDT*

Comments on recent events.

The fire devastates the Cerrado, with astonishing burnings in the national forest of Brasilia, including. The dry climate and the heat help exacerbate moods. Parochial disputes and charged with fascist sentiments abound among the remnants of the occupation columns that came to infest the Capital on September 7th. Many, including truck drivers, decided to demonstrate through networks, and even to the local press, against the retreats of their highest leader in the presidency of the republic. Will they be looking for another leadership, or will they wait for the new guidelines of the rowdy leader who tests the patience of the other powers of the republic?

The letter written by Michel Temer and signed by Bolsonaro, without forgetting the seal of Brazilian integralism (“God, Fatherland and Family”) – a sad allusion to the movement that brought together the largest Nazi political party after Hitler’s Germany – is not enough to rebuild ties of mutual dependency between the large economic groups and the current occupant of the presidency of the republic. Since the eve of the events of September 7, several businessmen and financiers linked to all sectors of the national economy had already manifested themselves against the political instability generated by the troublemaker and the need to resume Paulo Guedes' main flags linked to the cut of subsidies and the widespread privatization of state-owned enterprises.

Nothing, regarding the relations between economy and politics, has been recomposed; for the hooligan has not spoken, nor does he usually speak, on matters of which he has not the slightest knowledge. This is the case with the price of fuel, in which he tries to conflagrate the terrain with accusations against governors in charging ICMS – the largest source of fiscal resources for the State. He does not address, even replacing the former president of Petrobras by another military man, the price caused by the linkage that comes from October 2016 of fuel prices to the PPI (Import Parity Price). In turn, Brazil's refining capacity, which is self-sufficient in oil, is around 80% of its plants; in the process of being sold to private companies that will establish new monopoly prices. Hence the pressure for more imports of fuels and derivatives, under conditions of a high dollar. Inflationary pressure on goods and services, not treated by the government as a crucial issue

Once again, the country is plunged into fear and anxiety provoked by a Bolsonaro embodying the full figure of a troublemaker, detached from the general afflictions of the population with growing inflation, shortages, unemployment and discouragement in the face of the possibilities of an insecure and frightening present.

To compose the framework of adjustment between the madness of the central power and the interests of the Centrão, the Federal Chamber approved (September 9) the new Electoral Code with 18 highlights, which will still be analyzed and voted on, before the project (Margarete Coelho, PP -PI) be sent to the Senate and then for presidential assent. All of this must be resolved by October 2022st, in effect in 24. Resistance from the Senate is expected. In the Chamber, seven of the 80 political parties represented gave 2026% of the votes to the project, which at the same time diminishes the function of the Electoral Justice, prohibits opinion polls on the eve of the elections, removes the possibility of quarantine for the military, police, judges and prosecutors (valeria only from XNUMX), alters and relaxes the accountability of parties and campaigns and establishes party loyalty to senators, governors, mayors and president of the republic. Difficult to pass by the Senate!

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

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