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Rousseff Asks for Support Against Crisis and Becomes Target of Pot-Banging Protests

08/07/2015 - 09h39

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FROM SÃO PAULO

Amidst a sea change to the tone from the previous Workers' Party broadcast, Thursday's (6) airing on national television admitted that the Rousseff government has wronged the economy and asked for people's help to avoid worsening the political crisis.

As in other times when TV programs featuring the Workers' Party as well as the federal government programs went on air on radio and TV, they were the target of pot-banging protests in at least 16 Brazilian capitals and the Federal District - where there were even fireworks.

In São Paulo, Folha monitored 27 districts. In 21 of them reactions to the broadcast were reported. Six suburban districts and six cities in Greater São Paulo, all Workers' Party strongholds, pot banging could be heard. On Paulista avenue, drivers honked their horns.

In the final seconds of the broadcast, the party joked: "We just want to remember that we are the party that has filled the most pots and pans with food in Brazil."

The line was delivered by the actor José de Abreu, a militant party supporter who presented the broadcast. Then, images of pots and pans were shown filled with traditional Brazilian dishes.

"If some people have had enough of us, patience. We are willing to listen, to correct, to improve", Abreu concluded.

It was the first emphatic defense of the Rousseff administration in a Workers' Party broadcast. Previously, there had only been mention to the two presidential periods together.

In her first TV appearance since March 8 -when the first pot-banging protest took place - Ms Rousseff said that 2015 is "a difficult year " that will take the country "to a better place."

In the section where the president appears, recorded on July 25, there are no direct references to the political crisis. "I know how to withstand pressures and
injustices," she said. "I have my heart set on a new Brazil which does not settle," she concluded.

SOCIAL WELFARE PROGRAMS

A defense of the Rousseff administration is evident, when compared to the broadcast aired last May, in the facts on social welfare programs that have been championed since the Workers' Party came into power.

In the previous broadcast, welfare programs under the presidency of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2003-2010) were mentioned alongside Rousseff (since 2011).

There were direct references or indirect hints made to the social welfare payment program "Bolsa Familia" as well as the social housing program "Minha Casa, Minha Vida".

This time, the emphasis was on programs implemented during the Rousseff administration, such as the health professionals centered "Mais Médicos" and tax exemptions promoted in order to boost the economy, as was claimed in the video.

There are also quotes about measures taken by Lula that have been expanded under Rousseff, like the access to higher education programs "Pronatec", "Prouni", as well as racial quotas.

Former President Lula also raised the tone against the program aired in May, when he criticized the outsourcing regulation guidelines which was awaiting approval in the lower House of Congress.

This time, Lula defended the fiscal adjustment promoted by the federal government, considering that in his government, he made a similar move. "I made an adjustment in the economy and then the country was much better."

Translated by CRISTIANE COSTA LIMA

Read the article in the original language

Edurado Knapp/Folhapress
Residents hit pans in protest as they watch a speech by Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff on television
Residents hit pans in protest as they watch a speech by Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff on television

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