The hug of hope


By Ricardo Amorim

Translation: EIC


Brazil bleeds with the greatest political paralysis in its history. Conflicts, differences and rivalry always existed and always will. However, potentiated by social networks, politicians who inflame them in their own benefit and by scandals revealed by Operação Lava-Jato (Car Wash Operation), they have now gained dangerous proportions.
The economic consequences were ominous. Imbalances caused by errors in economic policy made during Dilma Rousseff’s first mandate in office could not be corrected due to the paralysis of Congress that prevented the approval of fundamental measures, and this threw Brazil in the current crisis.
President Dilma’s impeachment was followed by vice-president Temer taking office. Economic reforms are being approved since then. Should this agenda be maintained and the country will be put back on the road to growth.
The first signs of progress can already be seen. The trade balance had a record surplus in 2016. It will be surpassed again this year. Inflation was two digits last year and will soon be under the 4,5% target, creating conditions for lower interest rates and more credit, consumption and investment. The Social Security Reform is still needed. Needed too are steps to increase our competitiveness and guarantee more jobs and cheaper products – namely, the Labour and the Tax Reforms. With them, economic growth and jobs – which haven’t yet improved – shall improve a lot.
This is where the hug in the picture comes in. May it inspire a process of national reconciliation and reconstruction. Reconciliation must be confused with a clean slate. For a better country to emerge, richer and fairer, it is essential for the Lava-Jato to keep moving forward and for all corrupt players to be clearly punished.
It is past time we Brazilians stop the tug-of-war that paralysed the country, and support or oppose initiatives, not people, parties or administrations. We Brazilians have to defend the country’s interest instead of letting ourselves be manipulated by political groups that only care for their own interests.
Taking the Temer administration for example, when he proposes reforms without which millions of Brazilians shall continue jobless, he deserves to be supported. When he appoints his Justice Minister for a seat in the Federal Supreme Court (STF) or offers a ministerial post to an ally to protect him with Special Court rights he must be combatted. It is not Temer that must be supported or combatted. Good measures must be supported and bad ones combatted, wherever they come from.
If even Lula and FHC – the main leaders of the main antagonistic groups – can hug each other, it is time for us Brazilians, together, to embrace the causes that deserve our support.
Ricardo Amorim is the author of the best-seller After the Storm, a host of Manhattan Connection at Globonews, the most influential economist in Brazil according to Forbes Magazine, the most influential Brazilian on LinkedIn, the only Brazilian among the best world lecturers at Speakers Corner and the winner of the “Most Admired in the Economy, Business and Finance Press”.
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