China, Germany, Brazil

Image: Kaique Rocha
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By BENÍCIO VIERO SCHMIDT*

Commentary on recent events

The international scenario deserves to be highlighted, in addition to the intrinsically strategic reasons themselves, but also because it implies effects on Brazil's possibilities in the world scenario.

On the one hand, China grappling with the Evergrande case, which at first affects a sector responsible for approximately 28% of GDP; but, at the same time, it imposes conditions on steel production for the affected real estate sector, thereby changing Brazilian iron ore export expectations. Important condition imposed by circumstances, which affects the Brazilian market as a whole. Our dependence on China, the main economic partner, takes its toll on price instability and uncertainty regarding the resumption of growth. By the way, to illustrate, China's industrial growth this past month was the lowest since 2011.

On the other hand, the parliamentary elections in Germany, with social democratic hegemony in building the alliance with the Christian Democrats and the Greens. This alliance corroborates recent elections in Nordic countries, where social democracy has recovered from past setbacks, especially strengthening its connections with environmentalists of all colors. The environment must be the axis of the relationship between Germany and Brazil, more than ever. It is on the part of Germany that, most strongly, Europe criticizes the (lack of) environmental policy of Bolsonarist Brazil. This posture actually comes from the Rio-92 Conference. The then German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, at a G-7 meeting, suggested launching a program to protect Brazilian forests, with the proposal of the PPG-7 (Pilot Program for the Protection of Brazilian Forests) . It is therefore a relatively old policy, which assumes greater possibilities of pressure on the Brazilian authorities, now and in the immediate future. In the first years, with support from indigenous communities, NGOs, institutions of the national environment system and with coverage from the World Bank, there were 26 projects involving US$ 460 million. The current government, under the Ricardo Salles administration, demobilized the Amazon Fund, which has Germany and Norway as major contributors. Now, with an alliance with the German Greens, the pressures should bring new and pertinent discomforts to the Brazilian environmental policy.

At the internal level, administrative reform, due to impasses regarding remuneration and prebends of the judiciary, is postponed. Pressure from public servants, through their representative bodies, has also been decisive in postponing what is approaching as a frontal attack on the stability of public servants in general; as well as a strategy for outsourcing public functions to social organizations and private companies. The imminence of elections in 2022 serves as a brake on the biggest onslaughts, despite its apparent legislative inexorability/

The PEC of Precatories continues in the Chambers of conversation between the Ministry of Economy and the leaders of the National Congress. The resolution of the impasse will affect the possibility of a more vigorous “Auxílio Brasil” than the current Bolsa Família. The spending ceiling is the great obstacle to the release of resources that favor Bolsonaro's clientelistic policies.

In the electoral perspective, the IESPE poll stands out, confirming Lula's favoritism, in any scenario; as well as disapproval of the federal government by 51% of respondents across all classes. Moreover, the merger between DEM and PSL will be consolidated, resulting in the acronym UNIÃO BRASIL, which will be the largest right-wing party in the National Congress. They are excited, specifically, by the possibility of launching a name capable of breaking the Lula-Bolsonaro monotony in the presidential elections. An unknown, which depends on many factors and articulations.

To illustrate the population's dismay with the possibilities of economic growth in the country, the fact that the US government increased the weekly number of flights with Brazilian returnees to three should be highlighted.

The CPI-COVID in the Senate continues, collecting evidence of the criminal behavior of authorities, lobbyists and medical sectors in the treatment of “experimental” patients with COVID. Until the closure of the Commission (October 20) referrals to the Public Prosecutor's Office are expected to indict and blame those responsible.

*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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