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Inacio Lula da Silva, today: a ‘king’ with a red carpet in Europe

Europe never wanted Brazilian far-right president Jair Bolsonaro. His presence as head of state of Brazil was one of the main reasons why several European governments and the European Parliament rejected the signing of the agreement between the European Union and Mercosur.

His refusal to stop deforestation in the Amazon and his Trumpist style made him a plague in the European chancelleries. At the last G20 meeting, in Italy, Bolsonaro always appeared alone and he did not have any bilateral meetings.

Europe, on the contrary, admires Lula, the former worker without studies, former trade unionist, former political prisoner tortured, former president and former convicted of corruption already exonerated of all his charges after spending 580 days in prison.

Luis Inacio Lula da Silva He is one of the last totemic figures on the world left, a man who receives praise from both Podemos’ European political family and liberals like French President Emmanuel Macron.

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and former President of the Spanish Government José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Photo: EFE

Bolsonaro’s nemesis was the subject of applause and greetings with honors from the head of state in recent days. Europe wants, apparently this week, for Lula to return, with whom he still has a photo, as when he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award, a high symbolic value.

A tour, a success

His tour of Europe, partly thanks to the mobilization of European socialists but not only of them, it was a success. The way he was received in Paris, with all the honors of the Elysee, including a military parade by the Republican Guard, is reserved for heads of state.

During the last days Lula met with the next head of the German government, the Social Democrat and current Finance Minister Olaf Scholz. The former Brazilian president was also the star guest at a debate on Latin America organized by the socialist group in the European Parliament.

Lula kisses a child after an encounter with leftist movements in Paris.  Photo: AFP

Lula kisses a child after an encounter with leftist movements in Paris. Photo: AFP

A community source explained this Wednesday that in Europe “there is interest in Brazil, as demonstrated in the years of Lula’s presidency, but it is unsustainable a similar relationship with Bolsonaro, which is why Lula is not well received only by the left, these days he has had messages of support even from Sarkozy”.

He also had meetings with the European ‘chancellor’ Josep Borrell and will be seen this Friday in Madrid with the Spanish president Pedro Sánchez.

On Wednesday Emmanuel Macron was waiting for him in Paris, who reverentially descended the seven steps of the small steps of the Elysee, a courtesy reserved for very few.

The meeting with Macron, scheduled for 30 minutes, the hour passed. The Elysee communiqué speaks of a “hot”, “high-level” meeting that dealt precisely with the issues that concern Europe in Brazil and that can’t talk to Bolsonaro, as a fight against the climate crisis and protection of the Amazon.

A source from the team that accompanied Lula told the French newspaper ‘Le Monde’: “I knew that Lula was going to be well received, but I was not expecting something this spectacular. Macron has understood the importance of Brazil and Lula ”.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva during a tribute in his person in France.  Photo: EFE

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva during a tribute in his person in France. Photo: EFE

A more than cordial and very careful meeting in Paris between two men in principle at the antipodes. Lula is 76 years old, Macron 43. Lula is a traditional socialist, a former trade unionist and close to the Latin American left that is furthest from liberalism. Macron is a classical liberal and former private banking employee.

But Lula and Macron have things in common that make them closer than one might see in the first place. They both go to the polls in just over a year.

The two carry the climate crisis at the top of their programs. And the two will face off against far-rightists, Bolsonaro in Brazil and the tandem Le Pen – Zemmour in France. Polls say that Lula could beat Bolsonaro in the first round with more than 50% of the vote.

“For the love of God!”

The success of his rival in Europe left Bolsonaro, who has just concluded a tour of three Gulf monarchies, upset or less.

Jair Bolsonaro plays with the ball during his visit to Lusail Stadium, in Qatar.  Photo: AFP

Jair Bolsonaro plays with the ball during his visit to Lusail Stadium, in Qatar. Photo: AFP

“I saw that they put on the GloboNews channel ‘Bolsonaro’s disappointment, Lula’s success. For the love of God!“Bolsonaro told reporters before embarking from Doha.” What Lula needs is to go out to the streets in Brazil. “

Message to young people

In Europe, Lula was even invited to give a speech to students at the prestigious Sciences Po in Paris.

To the young Frenchmen destined to fill the positions of the Parisian high civil service he said: “The future of humanity must be built through dialogue and non-authoritarianism, in peace and not in violence, with more books and less weapons”.

Another reception with honors awaits him this Friday in Madrid. Europe wants Lula.

Brussels, special for Clarín



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