The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday announced it will lend debt-laden Brazil another $30 billion. That is more than the IMF has ever provided any other country.
Brazil’s currency has lost a third of its value this year. Part of this is because investors are threatening to pull out if the Worker’s Party presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva wins in October. He is currently leading in the polls. Lula told thousands of cheering supporters last week: "We will not be held hostage to the demands of foreign investors and world markets: we will alleviate poverty before appeasing markets."
But the IMF loan requires the future government to maintain the tight fiscal regime imposed by the present government until 2005.
Several thousand people protested on Thursday as Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill left Argentina for Washington at the end of his first Latin American trip which included Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.
- Maria Luisa Mendonca, director, Social Network for Justice and Human Rights.