Sean Purdy

Brazil in revolt

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Brazil, held up as an economic success story over the last decade, has been shaken by a massive revolt triggered by transport fare rises. Henrique Sanchez and Sean Purdy examine the roots of the rebellion and assess the political challenges ahead

Until quite recently, Brazil was experiencing a climate of euphoria. This was partially because of improvements in the conditions of workers and the poor with low unemployment, a moderate increase in salaries and a popular government income supplement program for the very poorest families.

Brazil Election: Life Before Debt

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Some 115 million Brazilians go to the polls on 6 October to elect a new president, and various federal and state deputies. The frontrunner for president is the Workers Party (PT) candidate, Lula, with 40 percent support in the polls.

All four candidates call themselves 'social democrats'. However, the 1 million member PT is the only political force closely linked to the unions and popular movements. For this reason Wall Street and the IMF have expressed strong reservations about a PT victory. Despite Lula's agreement with recent IMF dictates to increase debt payments, the international financial community fears he will increase spending, potentially threatening the stranglehold the IMF has on Brazil.

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