Brazil’s public services face ‘very real threat of collapse’

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Brazil’s President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has warned that the public services in the country face a “very real threat of collapse” as a result of the mismanagement by the outgoing far-right government, a news report stated. Mr Silva, 77, further stated that the incoming administration will have a “herculean task” in rebuilding damaged institutions, particularly in the fields of health, education and the environment.

Since his victory, Mr Lula’s transition team has been evaluating the task ahead, and the leftist leader, who called Bolsonaro’s term “a tempest of fascism”, said they were shocked by what they have found.

On Thursday, the Brazilian leader stated: “I don’t intend on making a big scandal about this; I just want Brazilian people to know the task that we are facing.

“After a four-year mandate, we find the government in penury, with the simplest things not being done … because the president preferred to tell lies to his bubble rather than govern this country.”

The transition report said: “The dismantling of the state and the disorganisation of public policies are deep and widespread, and have consequences in essential areas both in terms of people’s lives and the direction this country is going in.

“This has brought serious consequences for health, education, environmental preservation, job and income generation, and the fight against poverty and hunger, among other things.”

Mr Lula’s vice-president and transition chief, Geraldo Alckmin, said that the education sector was worst hit.

He claimed that the text books to be used next year still need to be edited, the number of children in school down on previous years, and resources for essential services such as school dinners are not sufficient to meet demand.

He further added that the University education was “almost in a state of collapse”.

Another area that is a cause of concern for Mr Lula is health, especially after COVID-19 pandemic.

The disease reportedly has killed almost 700,000 Brazilians.

Brazilians did not suppport Bolsonaro’s anti-vax stance, which has a record of widespread vaccinations, but budget cuts mean 50 percent of all children have not received their final polio booster.

Mr Lula plans to have 37 ministries, up from the 22 his predecessor started out with four years ago.

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This will include completely new ministries, including for Indigenous peoples and for innovation, and the return of others such as for fishing, sports and racial equality, which Bolsonaro amalgamated with others or abolished.

He added that once in power “we are going to invest in education, in SUS (Universal Health system), to resume Minha Casa Minha Vida (Low Income Community Housing Support Project). Really important things for the people.”

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