Highlights – IV

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By BENÍCIO VIERO SCHMIDT*

Comments on recent events

One of the highlights of last week – and which should remain a salient issue this week and the next – was the operation against Senator José Serra, whose offices and residences were visited by the Federal Police, in search of evidence of the alluded help that was given by Odebrecht to its electoral campaigns, totaling 27 million reais. It is, without a doubt, a controversial question that will raise many controversies, because Serra is one of the last historical toucans, he is part of the group of founders of the PSDB and is considered a political and moral reserve of the party. A party that has changed its profile so much in recent years to the point of being led in São Paulo by João Dória.

The second issue that remains surprisingly unanswered is the appointment of the Minister of Education. Feder, the secretary from Paraná, perhaps anticipating an outcome similar to that of his contemporary Sérgio Moro, decided not to accept the parade. Which brings another problem for the government, which is thus immersed in the controversy between the historical olavists and their more technocratic wings, etc. Interestingly, one of the people considered, professor Ilona Becskeházy, was an active participant in Ciro Gomes' campaign in the last election. Therefore, she should have little chance of being Minister of Education.

Meanwhile, professors from one hundred universities, including council members and postgraduate course coordinators, signed a letter taking a position against two directives from the current director president of one of the MEC bodies, CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel). Higher). The letter contests the new policy for allocating scholarships, especially the new ones, and the intention to reduce the current 47 areas of knowledge evaluated by the CAPES committees to nine. The coordinators of these XNUMX universities allege that traditionally measures of this nature were only adopted after extensive deliberations in councils and meetings between academic representatives and CAPES management. They are, therefore, opposed to this change of course, whereby management arrogates to itself the right to make centralized and single-member decisions.

International pressure still persists against the deforestation of the Amazon and the products originating from the deforested areas there. This is more serious than one might imagine, as it is associated with Brazil's loss of positions at the Inter-American Bank and at the World Bank. An issue that will remain and that tends to get worse.

Attention has drawn attention in recent days to the search for protagonism by former minister Sérgio Moro. He gave numerous interviews on television, radio and in the written press, devoutly regretting the famous April 22 meeting, recognizing that he should have reacted differently at the time and also in relation to the positions he adopted regarding arms policy. of President Bolsonaro and in the fight against corruption. It is advisable to pay attention to these eventualities, because depending on the circumstances, the repercussions of his pronouncements, Moro may be able to return to the field of the presidential dispute or something equivalent.

It is impossible not to emphasize Bolsonaro's necrophilia in the presidential veto of the obligation to wear masks in religious temples, in human conglomerations and in prisons. This measure makes no sense at all, rather it signals a cultivation of death, as its results are already known.

Finally, an observation regarding the short circuit between the policy advocated by Minister Paulo Guedes and what is effectively being done, led by the Presidency of the Republic. Paulo Guedes' program provides for broadly liberal policies that disburse workers' social rights. In the green-yellow card, for example, the worker will not have a guarantee fund or INSS coverage, and can be hired for hours regardless of who the contractor is, even on the same day. This will reinforce the precariousness of work and the conditions for the reproduction of the workforce.

If, on the one hand, a policy is put into practice which, responding to the urgencies imposed by the pandemic, is an attempt to protect the unemployed and informal workers with emergency assistance; on the other hand, a policy of precariousness of the workforce is encouraged and dialogue with union entities and their centrals is neglected.

*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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