's Lula slams rich countries and IMF Brazil
In his first public address after seven months of treatment for larynx cancer, Lula, looking weak and walking with a cane, attended a seminar on investment in
He used the occasion to take European countries to task for tackling the crisis with austerity measures and by injecting an enormous amount of money into the financial system.
"They are calling for austerity by the poor, the workers and governments of the most economically fragile countries. But at the same time, they accepted packages and packages of financial resources injected in the financial system which precisely benefit sectors responsible for the speculation that trigger the crisis we are currently experiencing," he added.
"They are punishing victims of the crisis and awarding prizes to those who are responsible for it. This is a big mistake," Lula said.
He noted that rich countries were dealing with the crisis by "slashing public investment, cutting salaries and workers' benefits, increasing unemployment and raising the minimum retirement age."
"The logic could be summarized in this way: the financial system enjoys all the necessary support so as not to suffer from the crisis. But workers, retirees, the most fragile and the poorest, are helped by no one," Lula noted.
Lula's successor, President Dilma Roussef, has also repeatedly criticized what she called the "monetary tsunami" unleashed by the monetary expansion of the eurozone.
The foreign currency influx into countries such as
Lula, who ruled from 2003 to 2010 and pulled 28 million Brazilians out of poverty, also indirectly took aim at the International Monetary Fund, an institution in which
"It seems that multilateral institutions lack the authority and the governance to assert their decisions," the former president added.
He recalled that in 2009 the world's top 20 rich and emerging powers had agreed on tighter regulation of financial markets and voiced regret that there was no follow through.
Copyright 2012 AFP.
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs