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Dilma “holds her own”

The LA times published a recent article praising Dilma Rousseff, the current president of Brazil, for successfully holding her own as former-president Lula left big shoes to fill (finishing his two terms on an economic upswing).  According to a recent poll, Rousseff’s approval rating is 71%.  She has been seen as tough on corruption, something that plagued Lula’s administration, and justifiably critical of the US and Europe’s inability to successfully deal with their financial and debt crises.  Brazil is still growing quickly which the article attributes to a commodity trade with China (benefitting from the high prices of iron ore and soy) and booming domestic consumption.  Nevertheless, Brazil could be negatively affected if a slowdown or crash happens in China (it seems we aren’t quite past the days of the export driven, dependent-on-the-global-market economic strategy after all).  Moreover, Brazil’s growth is expected to slower as the domestic consumption reaches its limit.  The article notes that combined with this economic growth Rousseff’s moderate social spending has lifted many out of poverty, however she has not taken this opportunity to restructure the tax code or fiscal policy which could increase Brazil’s competitiveness in the long run.  Finally, the article notes the one area in which Rousseff has made a break from Lula: she has distanced her administration from Iran, criticizing the practice of stoning women.  “Her comment was characteristically uncompromising: “I do not agree with practices that have medieval characteristics [when it comes] to women,” Rousseff told the Washington Post. “There is no nuance; I will not make any concessions.”  Rousseff was tortured under the military dictatorship in Brazil.

See the full article here:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-brazil-dilma-20111016,0,7107872.story

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