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Exame | A Note on the New Opposition

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Source:  Exame

Marina and Campos, can they beat the unbeatable Workers Party?

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That is all the local papers want to talk about since an alliance between the socialist governor and the ex-Green ex-PT former Senator for the Amazonian state of Acre, whose petition to form a party called the Sustainability Network was recently turned down by election authorities.

With no beating around the bush, the Abril Group’s business weekly, Exame, sister publication of the general-interest Veja, gets straight down to business: “The New Opposition and the Economy.”

In the accompanying article, it is stated that the new political slate could “elevate the quality of domestic economic debate.”

The principal business news title of the Civita clan defends six positions for the economic agenda of Campos and Marina: (1) The independence of the Central Bank; (2)  more privatizations; (3) increased salaries for teachers; (4) meritocracy in the civil service; (5) less red tape in obtaining environmental licenses, and (6) more openness to foreign trade.

In Exame’s view, Dilma represents  “the strong hand of the state,” an attribute inherited from the Lulist model which, according to Civita & Cia., has supposedly failed, despite the achievement of full employment.

***

Exame magazine, published by Editora Abril, gets straight to the point. Mere days after the announcement of the alliance of Marina Silva (ex-Green) dedicated its cover to this political pact, referring to “the new opposition and the economy.”

In a survey released today, however, it appears that a slate involving two-time presidential loser José Serra has a better chance against Dilma than does the new face of the PSDB, Aécio Neves combined with the Green libertarian leanings of Marina and her credentials as an activist.

What this means is that Abril and the Civitas who own it hope that Campos and Marina will embrace their own more liberal tendencies and with that produce a discourse antagonistic to the Workers Party and President Dilma Rousseff.

In the article, bylined to Daniel Barros and Humberto Maia Júnior, Exame presents a six-point agenda which, according to Exame, should be promoted by the Pernambuco governor and the former federal senator. These are:

  1. Formal independence of the Central Bank, as guaranteed by law. This would give bank directors more autonomy to set interest rates.
  2. More privatizations. The government, rather than setting the return on equity of the concessionaires by fiat, it should concern itself with guaranteeing competition during autctions.
  3. Higher salaries for teachers and more full-time schools.
  4. Meritocracy in the civil service, with state personnel rewarded for hitting targets.
  5. Less red tape for environmental licenses– a topic that will, according to Exame, be a bone of contention between  Campos and Marina.
  6. Greater economic openness, with deals negotiated outside the Mercosul framework.

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The article includes an interview with Eduardo Giannetti da Fonseca, said to be one of Marina’s economic gurus — another is André Lara Resende, who also defends a more liberal model. Resende says that under Lula and Dilma, Brazil has sunk into an “interventionist spiral.” Dilma, to Exame, represents the “strong hand of the state” (above.)

Developing an opposition discourse about the economy will not be simple in a country like Brazil which currently enjoys full employment. Furthermore, the National Survey of Domiciles — PNAD — indicates that income continues to rise, as does consumer spending, as compared with last year.

That is to say: there exists a mood of satisfaction with the conditions of daily life that, as Exame acknowledges, makes Dilma the favorite for the 2014 election.

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