Brazil’s new interim president vows to improve economy

Brasilia, May 13 (IANS) Brazil’s new interim President Michel Temer has pledged to renew economic growth and has called for greater trust.

In his first speech as acting president on Thursday, the former vice president voiced the urgency of creating a government of “national salvation” so that “we can overcome the serious crisis that we are in”, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Trust in the values of our people and in our ability to rebuild the economy,” Temer, 75, said while addressing the nation from the presidential headquarters of Planalto, minutes after President Dilma Rousseff vacated the offices after the Senate voted to put her on an impeachment trial.

After Wednesday’s all-night session that lasted more than 20 hours, senators voted by 55 votes to 22 to suspend Rousseff and put her on trial for budgetary violations.

In her final speech on Thursday afternoon, she again denied the allegations and vowed to fight what she called an “injustice” by all legal means.

Temer has now taken over as president for up to 180 days – the maximum time allowed for the impeachment trial of Rousseff.

Surrounded by his new cabinet and other officials, Temer noted that dialogue was the first step towards facing the challenges and guaranteeing renewed economic growth.

“Nobody has the best way to go about making the reforms that are needed (but) the government, the parliament, society … together we will find a way,” he said.

Temer said that he wanted to boost public-private sector agreement to “generate employment in the country,” and to make reforms.

Temer highlighted the need to rescue Brazil’s credibility in the international market “so that entrepreneurs and workers become enthusiastic and invest and employ once again in Brazil.”

Temer, who was the vice president for the last five years, also denied charges from Rousseff’s Workers’ Party and its allies that he would cut government social programmes.

“We all know that Brazil is a poor country and I confirm, with capital letters, that we will keep the social programs …. They are projects that were successful and for that reason they will have improved management,” Temer said.

He added that he wanted to put a stop to “the habit that each new government has of destroying what was previously done. You have to honour what was done well and improve it.”

“We have already got rid of several ministries in the government and we will not stop there,” he said, adding his government was looking to cut unnecessary public posts.

Temer also said that the Carwash Operation, an investigation into alleged corruption within the government-run oil company Petrobras, “should be protected”.

–IANS

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