News You Really Need To See: “Brazilian Protests Return as Scandals Intensify”

“Brazilian Protests Return as Scandals Intensify”

The New York Times, April 13, 2015, p.A4

“For the second time in a month, thousands of protesters marched in cities across Brazil on Sunday calling for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, who is struggling with a sharp economic slowdown, simmering bribery scandals and dismal approval ratings.  The turnout appeared to be lower than on March 15, when antigovernment groups mounted protests ranking among the largest since the re-establishment of democracy in 1985.  Still, tens of thousands of demonstrators focused their ire on Ms. Rousseff, who is less than four months into her second term. … With Brazil’s economy eking out growth of just 0.1 percent in 2014 and expected to contract this year, Ms. Rousseff is facing indignation over rising unemployment and high inflation.  Sixty-three percent of Brazilians believe she should face impeachment proceedings, according to a public opinion survey released over the weekend by Datafolha, a Brazilian polling company. … Though such agitation draws uneasy comparisons with the 1964 coup which installed a long military dictatorship, a bigger concern for Ms. Rousseff seems to lie in the scandals shaking her own Workers Party as prosecutors broaden their investigations, accusing former legislators of taking bribes to secure lucrative contracts with Caixa Econômica Federal, a state-owned bank.”

Quickie analysis:  It’s not clear what Brazil’s people thought they were getting when they recently elected Rousseff.  

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