Madam President

Many international news outlets wrote about the power change in Brazil at the first day of the new year. I thought it unnecessary to repeat what others wrote. But there always is something to highlight, what others left out. So a bit late, but never too late.

Photo: Celso Junior/AE

After 8 years in office, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva handed the presidential sash over to Dilma Rousseff, with it becoming the country’s 36th president.

At a ceremony at the 1st of Jan 2011 the population, although bothered by rain, showed up to honour the inauguration of the first woman President of Brazil.

Photo: Wilton Junior/Agencia Estado/AE

Her legacy is heavy. Her predecessor did not manage to get badly needed tax and social security reforms passed. The country’s education system lags, as does its infrastructure,  which could hamper the World Cup and Olympics. Economic advances could be threatened by bottlenecks of poor roads, railways and ports. The over-valorisation of the Brazilian real continues to frustrate the export of manufactured goods. The population requires action in public health, public safety and poverty.
Dilma Rousseff has a full plate, left by her predecessor, to tackle.

I sincerely hope her reign will benefit all of Brazil.

Photo: Beto Barata/ AE

Note: Look at the license plate of the presidential Rolls Royce. In Brazil we still honour male and female words. Consequently the plate was changed from ‘Presidente da República’ into: ‘Presidenta da República’