Dilma Rousseff: “You have one hour to solve this problem.”

Ms. Dilma Rousseff, Brazilian President

Ms. Dilma Rousseff, Brazilian President

There is no denying that the main challenges facing the Brazilian economy include the achievement of sustainable growth and the struggle for a fair distribution of its rewards throughout society.

The country is fortunate in having as its president Dilma Rousseff, a highly principled leader who may well prove to have the necessary qualities to build on the success of her predecessor.

Ms Rosseff, 62 years, was not so well known when former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made clear his view that Brazil should have her as its first female president. He realised that under her leadership – as during his before- there would be full understanding that Brazil’s challenges start at home and that the country must mobilise its considerable potential for the benefit of all.

President Rouseff has indicated that her presidency represents continuity for the country and a strong role for the state. We expect her to be a resolute leader.

“You have one hour to solve this problem,”

(Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff calling on ministers to help the country’s farmers who were suffering from the effects of bad weather. She extended the deadline, but there was no way they would be allowed to fail. One of the three, agriculture minister Mendes Ribeiro, describes the president as a very precise and direct leader.)

Life has been a struggle for the new president who has only recently recovered from lymphatic cancer. As a young woman she opposed the military dictatorship and was jailed for three years. A career civil servant, she was chosen by Lula partly because she had not been tainted by the corruption scandals surrounding some of the other likely candidates.

Once a left wing revolutionary, she is now tooting the horn for private enterprise and rightly so. It has been a long journey and a necessary one for her and her people.  The struggle continues.


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