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Brazil Continuing to Grow and Expand its Middle Class

Foreign Affairs Live: Brazil Outlook with Michel Temer

Speaker: Michel Temer, Vice President, Federative Republic of Brazil
Presider: Gideon Rose, Peter G. Peterson Chair and Editor, Foreign Affairs
April 4, 2014

Event Description

Brazilian vice president Michel Temer visits CFR to discuss Brazil's current economic status, its success in attracting foreign investment, and its progress in reducing extreme poverty in a conversation with Foreign Affairs Editor Gideon Rose. Temer credits the 1988 constitution with creating the political and institutional conditions that have made Brazil's recent economic rise possible. He also says that recent tensions between the United States and Brazil as a result of the Edward Snowden leaks do not endanger the long-term relationship.

Event Highlights

Michel Temer on Brazil's anti-poverty efforts:

"In the past twelve years, around thirty-five million people have left the extreme poverty. See, this would be people who used to live with $30 to $40 a month, and now they belong to what is called the C Class, which is a lower middle class, but people who are starting to be able to buy TVs, to eat better, people who have been able to buy their first car, or go abroad for the first time, also have their children attend the schools."

Michel Temer on how Brazil's growing middle class is placing new demands on the government for improved services:

"[B]ut the problem is the person that just bought a car takes three hours to arrive at his or her job. And, then these people go to the airport and see that the service are not good. They enter on the subway and they are like sardines in a can. So, these people demand better services. And this has created a movement on the streets that started last year, and the president of Brazil, Dilma, and I, we didn't get scared. We understand that this is result of everything that we have done and is a consequence of this social ascension of the people."

Michel Temer on recent strains in U.S.-Brazil relations as a result of the Edward Snowden scandal:

"[T]he president was supposed to come to the U.S. last year, but she couldn't come and she said she postponed, because of the spy scandal. But this topic has been treated through the diplomatic channels, and I think we are going to have a meeting very soon with President Dilma and President Obama. And they have been meeting each other in several international events, and they have been talking about the Snowden scandal, but this is going to be overcome very soon."


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