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Interim President Temer Reinstates Culture Ministry After Artists Protests

05/23/2016 - 10h11

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VALDO CRUZ
LEANDRO COLON
FROM BRASÍLIA

FÁBIO BRISOLLA
FROM RIO

After major protests carried out by the Brazilian culture and entertainment sector, Interim President Michel Temer (PMDB) has reconsidered his decision and decided to reinstate the Ministry of Culture, which had been merged with the Ministry of Education into one ministry on the grounds of a need to reduce government expenses.

With the return of the Ministry of Culture, the interim government will now have 24 ministries, eight ministries less than the number that suspended president Dilma Rousseff (PT) had.

The announcement was made at the beginning of Saturday afternoon, May 21, by the Minister of Education, Mendonça Filho (DEM). Filho said that Temer made the decision as a "gesture" to please the cultural and entertainment area.

The elimination of the Ministry of Culture was criticized by entities of the cultural area and leftist movements. Artists feared that the end of the ministry would weaken the area and lead to a loss of public resources aimed to financially supporting cultural projects.

OCCUPATIONS

The announcement of the end of the ministry was one of the main arguments used by demonstrators who occupied public buildings to criticize Temer. The demonstrations began in Curitiba on May 13 and have spread to at least 15 other Brazilian capital cities.

The pressure from the sector led Temer to a series of steps back and constraints. In his last act before reinstating the ministry on Friday, he even gave the Culture Secretariat a "special" status, but it was not enough to stop the criticism.

Also, before Temer chose Marcelo Calero to be the new Minister of Culture, at least five women had refused potential invitations made by the government to lead the Culture Secretariat.

The absence of women among the leading team chosen by Temer is another controversial point of the beginning of his administration.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

Read the article in the original language

Miguel Schincariol/AFP
Riot policemen stand during a protest by supporters of suspended President Dilma Rousseff against interim president Michel Temer, in Sao Paulo
Riot policemen stand during a protest by supporters of suspended President Dilma Rousseff against interim president Michel Temer, in Sao Paulo

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