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Lula assumed the presidency and denounced as “terrifying” the country that Bolsonaro leaves him

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva accomplished his feat and was crowned this Sunday for the third time in the presidency of the second largest economy in the hemisphere. The act, which was carried out with an extraordinary security shield due to the activity of far-right groups, was particularly marked by the tone of the two similar speeches, in Congress and at the presidential headquarters, with which Lula presented his government.

On the one hand, he charged with enormous harshness against his predecessor, the right-wing populist Jair Bolsonaro, and described the state of the country that this administration left as “scary”. “Devastation”, “dismantling”, “destruction” and repeatedly “stupidity”were the words used by Lula to refer to that government.

The other axis that he highlighted was the denunciation of inequality and the reappearance of hunger in the country, focusing almost all the management onwards, according to what he said, to resolve those inequities. In that sense the messages were emotional and seemed to continue the fervor of the campaign.

The ceremony covered the entire Esplanade of the Ministries with around 300,000 people according to police estimates. Most of the people wore red shirts or hats, the original color of the PT that later in the campaign had turned to white, in an effort to capture the moderate vote of the center right.

19 presidents and heads of government participated, among around 160 delegations from around the world. The US sent its interior minister and China its vice president. At night there was a musical show.

The day passed calmly, but there was concern about the possibility of incidents. Lula, however, rejected the recommendations to wear a bulletproof vest or use an armored car on the traditional ride from the remarkable cathedral designed by the architect Osca Niemeyer to the Congress and the Planalto Government Palace.

Instead, he preferred to board the traditional convertible Rolls Royce in which he traveled with his wife Janja and the couple of Vice President Geraldo Alckmin and his wife.


A numerous guard guarded the movement of the car. The police also shot down around four drones that entered the concentration area and arrested an individual who entered the place with a dagger and fireworks.

The ceremony had a peculiar characteristic: Bolsonaro traveled to the US on Thursday to elude hand over token band to his successor. Nor did the vice president fulfill that task, which ended up being resolved by the presidential protocol.

The crowd that accompanied the inauguration of Lula da Silva AFP

The messages of the new president were received with applause by the crowd and his political allies. He emphasized the urgency from now on to resolve social imbalances, but he avoided offering details about his economic policies to achieve that goal. He did point out that “5% percent of the population concentrates the income of 95%.”

With a sob in the second speech at the Planalto Palace, the government headquarters, he recounted situations of pressing need in sectors of the population. “Dear friends, in 2003 (his first government), we assumed the commitment to recover the dignity and self-esteem of the Brazilian people and we did it”, remembered.

At that moment, he stressed, raising his voice, that now “inequality and extreme poverty, hunger, are back, not by the work of nature or divine will. Hunger is the most serious crime of all committed against the Brazilian people”.

“Everything built in eight years it was destroyed in half that time”, he complained, alluding to his two governments and that of Bolsonaro. “A small portion of the population has everything and in the other sector everything is lacking, and there is a middle class that has been impoverished,” he insisted.

He then undertook, with his vice-president Alckmin, a liberal but deeply allied politician, to resolve social imbalances. “If we want to build our future and a developed country there can be no place for so many inequalities, the greatness of a country lies in the joy of its people”.

In the two messages, he stressed that he will not govern only for those who voted for him. Lula da Silva won by a minimum difference of 1.8% of the voteThe country was literally divided into two similar parts.

Hence, he pointed out that “there are not two Brazils, only one, I will govern for the 215 million Brazilians” and called for the polarization to be overcome, for families to be reunited. He clarified that there will be no revenge or revenge but that justice will act to punish the disastrous handling of the pandemic that left 700,000 dead due to Bolsonaro’s “obscurantism and denialism.”

Lula will carry out a policy of integration in the region without ideological limits, although his foreign minister Mauro Vieira pointed out to this envoy that the president understands that any politician who seeks to govern for more than two terms he is a dictator. A comment that involves the Venezuela of Nicolás Maduro or the Nicaragua of Daniel Ortega.

The presidential band already in the power of Lula Bloomberg

The presidential band already in the power of Lula Bloomberg

Beneath the speeches is the reality that the new government will have a difficult road, particularly in its first year. The markets, however, they trust the traditional pragmatism of the president. It is because Da Silva will govern with a Congress dominated by the opposition where the first minorities belong to Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party.

Deal maker

But even so, the former metallurgical trade unionist managed negotiate an extension of 30 billion dollars on the legal ceiling of public spending. That figure, which is even higher if other additional ones are included, is enough to fund the subsidy plans that make it possible to turn off the social bomb that he denounced in his speeches.

It was a central step, since as the majority of economists here point out in a homogeneous way, the government will have to solve serious fiscal challenges almost without time, originated in the budgetary imbalances left by the previous government.

Lula, for example, should replenish taxes that the outgoing president withdrew to improve his electoral image before the elections. Also, try to keep inflation at its current levels in the order of 6% per year, which should drop even more to reach the goals set by the Central Bank.

Bolsonaro and his economy minister, the monetarist Paulo Guedes managed to control the cost of living also with electoral criteria, artificially forcing the drop in fuel prices by withdrawing taxes from that item.

This Sunday it was learned that the new government will be given at least two months to study those charges. The issue is that solving this problem constitutes a potential wear and tear, explains political scientist Marco Antonio Teixeira, from the Getulio Vargas Foundation. “The price of fuel has an impact on the prices of food, public transportation, and it quickly reaches the budget of the poorest, above all,” he pointed out.

In this sense, Lula faces the need to make a series of adjustments, hence his concern to contain the social crisis. Bolsonaro did not leave budget lines planned to support the assistance plans that go to 20 million poor families.

Lula, in this sense, formed a economic equipment with counterweights. He chose a politician from the hard core of the PT, Fernando Haddad, as minister of the area, but placed Alckmin next to him in Industry, taking advantage of his proximity to the markets. In Planning, a strategic ministry that applies the budget and intervenes in lines of public spending, he appointed the conservative senator Simone Tebet.

That design would have sought to put a limit to their own hawks and show signs of future pragmatism. It is that this time there will not be the impulse with which Lula managed to lead his country from position 14 to sixth in economic size worldwide.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, with representatives of indigenous peoples and his wife Janja Bloomberg

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, with representatives of indigenous peoples and his wife Janja Bloomberg

These deficiencies are what have removed the price of the Stock Market and the dollar, reaction that may be repeated this week based on the tone of the president’s messages at his inauguration.
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