Tags: rousseff | protests | brazil

Rousseff Asks Brazilians for Patience on Economy Amid Protests

Monday, 09 Mar 2015 06:47 AM

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff on Sunday asked Brazilians for patience through economic austerity measures amid protests in Sao Paulo and Brasilia.

“We’re going through temporary problems but our fundamentals continue strong,” Rousseff said in a nationally televised address to commemorate International Women’s Day. “I ask you for patience and comprehension because this situation is passing.”

As she spoke some residents in Sao Paulo and Brasilia whistled, banged on pots, and shouted “liar” and “out with Dilma” from their apartment windows. Similar protests took place in some neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro and Goiania, according to G1 news site.

Since her reelection in October, Rousseff has increased taxes on fuel, imports and cosmetics and capped government spending to help reduce a budget deficit that nearly tripled during her first term. A scandal over alleged kickbacks at state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA has contributed to a decline in Rousseff’s approval rating, which is the lowest of any Brazilian president in 15 years.

Rousseff said the measures, which include a reduction in labor and pension benefits and increases in energy prices, will last as long as necessary to rebalance the economy. They will produce results by the end of this year and have lasting impact in controlling inflation, she said in the televised speech.

Economists in the latest central bank weekly survey estimate the economy will shrink by 0.58 percent this year.

Green Light

The Supreme Court on Friday gave the green light to investigate the heads of both houses of Congress while ruling out a probe into Rousseff in the Petrobras case, the country’s largest corruption scandal.

A broad, independent, and rigorous investigation amounts to a tough application of justice to those who are corrupt, Rousseff said in her speech.

Among others named by prosecutors in the case are Rousseff’s former energy minister, Edison Lobao, and her prior chief of staff, Senator Gleisi Hoffmann. The press offices of Lobao and Hoffmann didn’t answer telephone calls and e-mails on Saturday requesting comment.

Protests to call for Rousseff’s impeachment are being planned on Facebook pages for March 15.


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Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff on Sunday asked Brazilians for patience through economic austerity measures amid protests in Sao Paulo and Brasilia."We're going through temporary problems but our fundamentals continue strong," Rousseff said in a nationally televised...
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