Weeks after a late-night telephone call almost caused the break-up of her ruling coalition, President Dilma Rousseff’s agenda remains totally paralyzed, endangering everything from a planned tax reform to Brazil’s preparations to host the 2014 soccer World Cup (Reuters).
Governors and senators from the North and the Northeast regions of Brazil presented the Senate’s president, José Sarney (PMDB-AP), a list of demands to increase the participation of both regions in the national income. The demands range from compensations for the end of tax benefits known as “fiscal war” to a fairer way to share the royalties of the pre-salt oil production (Federal Senate).
As the debate over distribution of oil revenues continues between state authorities and the federal government, north and northeastern states have requested a deadline to resolve the issue be set for July 13th. Workers’ Party (PT) Senator and former Governor of the State of Piauí, Wellington Dias, has proposed a plan that he claims will satisfy the country, especially those not producing petroleum and positioned to receive large percentages of oil revenue, while at the same time calming oil producing states of the southeast, who fear a possible forced concession of enormous sums derived from oil revenue (The Rio Times).
A cyber attack blocked traffic to the website of the Brazilian presidency and two other government sites, authorities said. The self-styled Brazilian branch of the Lulz Security hacking collective claimed responsibility for the attacks (Washington Post).
Brazil’s housing plan, Minha Casa, Minha Vida (My Home, My Life) is entering its second phase, and aims to build 2,000,000 homes before 2014 for low income families. “Launching this new phase marks a special moment,” President Dilma Rousseff said. “Building a house is much more than construction work. It is building a dream because a home is the space where relationships are built, children are raised and family ties are established. (A home is) shelter, protection and security” (The Rio Times).
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President Dilma Rousseff said she is convinced of her Argentine peer Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner re-election victory next October 23. Argentina is Brazil’s main associate in Mercosur and third trade partner (MercoPress).
Nick Clegg has said the UK should aim to double the value of exports to Brazil as he seeks to develop trade links on a visit to the country (BBC).
Martin Raven – the UK’s former Consul General in Sao Paulo – looks at the significance of his visit and the opportunities for British companies in the fast-expanding economy (BBC).
The U.S. is taking its relationship with Brazil for granted, and that may hurt South Florida’s economy. South Florida has long been Brazil’s primary gateway to the U.S. marketplace. During the first 11 months of 2010, Florida’s merchandise trade with Brazil topped $14.4 billion, a 27 percent increase over 2009. Brazilian tourists spend more money in Florida than in any other state. Thirty-five percent of real-estate buyers in downtown Miami are Brazilians (The Miami Herald).
Everyone should love Brazilian tourists. They spend more per capita than any other nationality. Worldwide, Brazilian tourists shell out an average of $43.3 million a day, dropping a gigantesco$1.4 billion last April alone, up 83% from the same period last year, according to the Brazil’s Central Bank. In 2010, 1.2 million Brazilians visited the United States, injecting $5.9 billion into the U.S. economy (Time).
In May 2010, through intensive diplomatic efforts in Tehran, Turkey and Brazil brokered an agreement for Iran to give up over one ton of its nuclear fuel in exchange for fuel to produce medical isotopes. But the deal, known as the “Tehran Declaration,” was ultimately rejected by the U.S. One year later, the Foundation for Political, Economic, and Social Research (SETA) convened a panel discussion assessing why the deal was ultimately scuttled and what have been the resulting implications (NIACOUNCIL).
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DEFENSE & SECURITY
Brazilian Defence and diplomatic sources consider ‘highly inconvenient’ disclosing documents from the time of the military dictatorship (1964/1985) and from other administrations because they could reveal nuclear secrets and affect relations with Argentina, according to Folha de Sao Paulo (MercoPress).
Authorities in the Brazilian Amazon are to create an anti-piracy taskforce following a spate of attacks on riverboats in the northern state of Pará. The rapid-response unit was unveiled by officials after an attack in which 11 heavily armed thieves stormed a passenger boat heading for the state capital, Belém (The Guardian).
With convicted criminals allowed multiple appeals and labour regulations that are a standing invitation to sue one’s employers, you might have thought there would be plenty of work to go round for all the lawyers in Brazil. But behind the scenes some of the most powerful ones are agitating to make life harder for the 100 or so foreigners offering legal services in the country. Brazilian lawyers don’t want pesky foreigners poaching their clients (The Economist).
Finding a good lawyer in an unfamiliar country is a difficult task. In Brazil it is made all the more difficult by the proliferation of lawyers and law firms available. There are sixty law schools in the State of Rio de Janeiro alone, producing thousands of graduates each year, and a Google search for ‘lawyers in Rio’ brings up an overwhelming number of results. In order to select the right firm, the first thing to know is that in order to practice, lawyers must be licensed by the Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil, or OAB (the Brazilian Bar Association) (The Rio Times).