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Brazil's Depression
Brazil in the Doldrums

Since the replacement of President Dilma Rousseff with Michael Temer, Brazil’s woes have not abated. Reuters reports:

Brazil’s central government on Tuesday recorded its biggest primary budget deficit ever for the month of May, with revenues down and the economy stuck in a second year of recession.

The new Treasury chief Ana Paula Vescovi also said the Treasury will not authorize a credit line for Rio de Janeiro to conclude a metro line for the Olympics site until the state pays its debts with the federal government.

The central government account, which covers federal ministries, the central bank and social security, posted a primary budget deficit of 15.494 billion reais ($4.68 billion) for May, slightly better than the 17 billion reais shortfall expected by the market.

There had been some hope that Dilma’s ouster (which remains officially temporary while impeachment proceedings continue) would stabilize the economy, but Brazil’s many crises continue. The Central Bank is struggling to rein in inflation, which is expected to remain above-target next year. Meanwhile, authorities fear looming terror threats ahead of the Summer Olympics in Rio, where first responders warn they may not do their jobs if salary checks don’t start showing up on time.

Then, of course, there’s the Zika virus which has prompted some doctors to advise athletes and spectators to skip this year’s festivities. As a result of all the turmoil, the new government in Brasilia has suspended plans to accept up to 100,000 refugees over the next few years.

A man was arrested over the weekend after throwing water at the Olympic flame as it passed through his village. The water missed the torch, according to reports, but soaked several of its bearers—a fitting symbol for a country that just can’t seem to catch a break.

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  • PKCasimir

    Oh come on already. Enough of this nonsense. Brazil can’t seem to catch a break? Really? As if Brazil’s problems were the fault of chance or external forces. Brazil’s problems have to do with an over-regulated economy; twelve years of incompetent leftist governments that refused to take advantage of a cyclical boom in commodities to invest in infrastructure but instead undertook massive increases in individual subsides that were unsustainable;, a contempt for the rule of law; and massive, systemic corruption. And that’s just for starters.
    For the last twelve years Brazil has strutted across the world stage pretending to be a super power, allying itself with America’s enemies, and doing every thing it could to thwart the United States and its policies. Do I indulge in schadenfreude? You bet I do.

    • JR

      But you got to admit being a leftist leader in a commodity crash has got to be one of the most thankless jobs in the world.

    • Observe&Report

      You could repost your comment with “Venezuela” in place of “Brazil”, and it would still be dead on, probably more so.

  • Lewis

    Is not accepting 100,000 Syrian refugees equal to the major economic concerns plaguing Brazil? Would more refugees not be an added burden to a country in the throes of major political and economic upheavals?

    I fail to understand why it should be the responsibility of non-Muslim countries to share the burden of Syrian refugees when some of the richest (Muslim) countries in the world are literally right next door to Syria and Iraq.

  • Pait

    A few points: The idea that the problems Brazil’s last government created would disappear immediately after the president is replaced is fantastic. The “plans” to accept 100 thousand refugees did not exist – vaporware is the best term. Throwing water at a torch would qualify as a uniquely Brazilian form of non-violent terrorism…..

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