Dissolve Brazilian National Congress, Says Spanish Sociologist


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The Spanish sociologist Manuel Castells, 71, says that there is no hope of reforming the Brazilian National Congress. Castells argues that Congress should instead be dissolved in favor of a constituent assembly. ‘Brazil’s main problem is not economic, but political,’ he affirms. ‘If the political system is not reformed then the hope for change represented by the recent protests will give way to collective anger and individual cynicism.’

Castells is one of the most highly regarded scholars of contemporary social movements and their political consequences. By coincidence, he was in Brazil last month during the protests, and wrote of the experience in an article published on Saturday by the newspaper ‘La Vanguardia’, of Barcelona. In the text, he writes that policemen of Brasilia and the Ministry of Justice killed demonstrators, though this did not occur.

(click here for full article)

Today medical professionals are protesting nationwide.

Taxes Paid On Purchase Now On Receipt


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A new law has gone into effect which requires that the amount of tax you paid be shown on the receipt – Cupom Fiscal.   Now everyone will know how much the government is taxing them, which should bring some changes in the tax laws. This should also create question asking the government where is the money going, because you sure don’t get much bang for the buck here from the taxes you pay.  The keyword here is “should”.

  • Today I bought some cough drops – approximate tax (imposto):  32.09%
  • Today I bought miscellaneous supermarket items – approximate tax: 37.74%
  • Yesterday, I bought some oranges – approximate tax:  34.79%
  • High consumer taxes are one of the reasons people are out on the streets protesting.

RIO: protest part of a growing and important shift


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On Rio Branco

The demonstrations, across Brazil and even carried out by Brazilians abroad, are really about inequality and injustice — the foundations of corruption and impunity.

click here to go to article

NOTE:  I don’t recall protest like this since people hit the streets against President Collor back in 1992.  It is long, long overdue.   Will change come?  Probably, but it will take years to change the culture of corruption in the government.  But at least it is a first  step.

Despite Convictions, Brazil Corruption Case Drags On


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Published: May 10, 2013

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Just six months ago, Brazil’s highest court handed down stiff prison sentences to powerful political figures found guilty in a vast vote-buying scheme, a move widely praised here as a watershed moment in a country where citizens long expected little more than impunity from politicians caught in corruption scandals.  (continue to article)

Harvard economist on Brazilian economic growth


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Originally posted on Eyes On Brazil:


Brazil will not again grow between 7% and 8% annually, says economist Dani Rodrik, professor of international political economy at Harvard University and a leading expert in development economics.

According to Rodrik, the beneficial global environment — high-growth in China, high commodity prices, growth in advanced countries — will not be repeated. “It is unrealistic to expect a growth rate of 3% to 4% in Brazil,” said Rodrik, who attended yesterday’s seminar by the magazine “Carta Capital”.

According to him, the phase of high growth in the world is over. Brazil, with strong democratic institutions, is resilient. “But the country should not be overly ambitious, it needs to be careful and fiscally safe to deal with external shocks that are likely to come.”

Folha – Brazil grew 0.9% in 2012 and there is a perception that the growth model based on consumption is exhausted. What do you think?

DR –…

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How easy is it to terminate an employee’s employment contract in Brazil? When are employees entitled to paid annual leave? Does Brazilian law permit positive action? HR professionals working for global organisations with interests in Brazil can find the answers to these questions and more in the new guide to employment law in Brazil that has been added to XpertHR International.

We have set out below seven interesting features ….. (continue to article)

Brazil expects a boom in sales of its unique sugar cane liquor ‘cachaca’


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Cachaca is made from fresh sugarcane juice that is fermented and distilledBrazil’s ‘cachaca’ the world’s fourth most-produced distilled spirit, but little known abroad, except as an ingredient in popular cocktails like caipirinhas is about to change when the US recognizes the sugar cane liquor as a distinctive Brazilian product.

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 Cachaca is made from fresh sugarcane juice that is fermented and distilled

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