Posted by BrazilMax:A warning for Lula
When Brazil's president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was booed at the opening of the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro last month, it was widely seen as a reflection of Rio's often out-of-kilter politics. After all, recent opinion polls have confirmed the president as the most popular in Brazilian history.
But the booing has continued at a series of regional events to launch investments under the government's growth acceleration programme. Some events in the series have been cancelled - notably one planned for Porto Alegre in the south, home to many of the victims of last month's air disaster. Protest movements have sprung up under slogans such as Eu também vou vaiar Lula ("I'm going to boo Lula, too") and Cansei ("l'm fed up") - the latter led by the national lawyers' association.
Behind them is what the president himself has called a "metastasis" of problems, most concerned with the government's continued difficulty in handling the crisis in civil aviation. Nelson Jobim, the new defence minister in charge of the industry, has already clashed in public with Dilma Rouseff, the president's senior minister and chief of staff, while a power failure at an air traffic control centre last week highlighted the depth of management problems.
But frustration is also rising at further revelations of government corruption (a fresh scandal emerged in the postal service last week, similar to the one that started the mensalão scandal two years ago) and at the Lula administration's failure to address obstacles to growth such as Brazil's complex and restrictive tax and labour regimes. "We're running into a big roadblock," says the head of a foreign multinational in São Paulo. Instead of hiding from the public, Mr Lula da Silva should heed the warning signs.