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The progress of polarization in Latin America worries Portuguese politicians



published on 06.08.2022 06:00


The journalist and lawyer Paulo Portas is one of the most influential politicians in Portugal. Portas, a former deputy prime minister and former foreign minister of his country, is a strong supporter of representative democracy and diplomacy as a tool to overcome crises. But he is concerned about the political radicalization that is taking place not only in Europe, but throughout the world and, in particular, in Latin America. And he points to social media as a factor in this crisis. During a recent visit to Brazil, Portas spoke with Mail about geopolitics and the “weakness of multilateralism” and criticizes what he calls social media democracy.

Has multilateralism collapsed?

I think it went to weakness. Multilateral organizations are unable to respond to the severity of the challenges. In any case, if we think about what international organizations were relevant during the pandemic, regionally, the European Union was relevant because it learned to make joint purchases and manage vaccination schedules in the field of health, which is a common policy. And internationally, despite its limitations, I think the World Health Organization (WHO) was relevant. But basically, many organizations were not relevant.

For example?

There is a crisis in this Ukraine, for example, the UN. I quoted as a metaphor: is it possible that on the day the UN Secretary General arrives in Kyiv, Russia, which is a member of the Security Council, decides to bomb Kyiv? It’s somewhere between disrespect and humiliation. And there is very little room for diplomacy.


One reason is that both sides are convinced they can win. And this does not contribute to the start of negotiations, contrary to what is considered. And at the moment there are several organizations that can mediate. Many countries in the European Union asked China to mediate, but China did not want to do it. He probably thought that he would have a problem on his hands, and he would not be able to solve it.

Was it the fear of being blamed for failure, if any?

What. For example, this small big deal that would free up grain exports that come from Ukraine and Russia does not allow exports – although there is liability for mines placed in the sea on both sides – but, objectively, Russia has seized some of the Ukrainian wheat, and he does not get out of Odessa. 85 boats stop in Odessa. And 22.5 million tons, which are sorely lacking in food, mainly from North and East Africa. We needed more effective international organizations, more mediators and more power to avoid situations like this.

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What role do you see for the UN in the future?

The UN has two entities in the two things we’re talking about: the World Health Organization and the FAO. The work they do is undeniable, but, in a conflict situation, apparently not enough to restore the channels. Globalization has brought many benefits, especially for the Southern Hemisphere. I see criticism of the Northern Hemisphere.

What are the benefits of globalization?

He brought many people out of extreme poverty. My question is: have we learned from the pandemic or this war in Ukraine, and will we be better prepared for the next global crisis? This is the decisive question. Perhaps the next crisis is climate-related. This is indicated by many indicators. And if it comes – when it comes – we have learned from the failures of the pandemic and the failures of this situation in the 21st century, is there still a possibility of war between peoples on the edge of Europe? This is my point of view. We need a serious strengthening and modernization of multilateralism.

Do you see great leaders who can bring about these changes?

No. I will talk about the democratic world, about those who choose their leaders. We choose more and more extreme people. It’s hard for moderates to live in this “social media” democracy. And this is not very good for the future, frankly. People should have understood by now what happened in the United States. On January 6, 2021, a coup d’état took place in the United States.

Invasion of the Capitol…

…in the strongest democracy in the world. All of this was circulated on social media. Use of social networks. Internet is fantastic. It changed our lives, it was the most important revolution in our lives. But be careful: the political vanguards that have taken over the stands, I think they are constantly a factor of radicalization, insults, a serene discussion is impossible. As a result, people insult each other. They don’t want to be right, they want to offend the opponent. As a result, there is little room for compromise, for agreement. And we see this in many countries of the democratic world. In addition, more and more people live under authoritarian regimes.

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Is there such a danger in Brazil?

It would be very impolite of me to speak on such a sensitive subject.

But now we are experiencing polarization.

All of Latin America is like that. I think the Portuguese should refrain from commenting on Brazil’s foreign policy, but I can understand the context. All of Latin America is going through a cycle, it was the case in Bolivia, at the very least in Peru, so it will be in Colombia, and of course with the influence of social networks and the takeover of these political social networks. Agenda aside, Latin America is going through a moment of extreme polarization, with neither centre-left nor centre-right. There is an extreme left and an extreme right. Aren’t there smart people among them? I think that the progress of societies is not achieved through extremes. This is done through agreement, step by step, compromise, negotiation, reform. It is very difficult. I think that Latin America would have the opportunity to emerge from this global crisis: Latin America is a natural producer of energy and food for the whole world. The world is going through a period of food shortages due to the factors I have already mentioned and the uncontrolled rise in energy prices.

Are we also experiencing this polarization with respect to Europe?

There were elections in France. The French are perhaps the most political people in Europe. 52% did not go to vote. I think this should open our eyes. What is happening in European democracies? This is another sign that something is wrong. This should make us think about some disease that has afflicted democracy.

Is democracy really sick?

I think that there is fatigue from the idea that there is room for maneuver to change something, there is fatigue from corruption. Europeans have become peoples who do not want to give up anything. They have achieved a very high level of comfort. They want the best of all worlds at the same time. Sometimes this is not possible. Brexit (withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union) in Europe’s oldest democracy, with a huge manipulation of arguments, is a matter for reflection. It should be emphasized that in the so-called digital democracy there is neither a past nor a long-term perspective. The past was last night, and the long term is tomorrow morning at best.

And you do not delve into the topics?

Anything. I said there: Almost no problem that the world has to solve would be simple, it would not fit in 142 characters. So, this digital democracy leads to the simplification of the complex. Simplification requires manipulation. A significant part of accounts and profiles are fake. We get to the point where we argue with people who don’t exist and accept it. And here’s what I find significant: we accept it. I’m a bit concerned about the dominance of radicalization and the short term, and the idea that there are magic solutions for things that don’t have magic solutions.

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For example?

Inflation has no magic solution, it is a very complex problem. Inflation has a large energy component, and there is no magic in it. Raising interest rates hurts the economy, but it’s the only way to control inflation. You in Brazil know very well what the inflation dragon is. I have a lot of admiration for the man who helped bring economic rationality to Brazil, President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who I really like.

What can be done in this preparation, for example, in relation to the international order?

There are several possible stability pillars to reduce unpredictability. For example, the relationship between China and the United States. Obviously the US is the world’s largest economy and of course China is more ambitious, but it would be important that there be a minimum of management of this competitiveness between the two countries. And we should pay attention to Asia. Look what happened to women in Afghanistan, they can no longer go to school, walk in the same garden as men. They can no longer travel abroad. And now, dramatically, they have to put on the veil again. This happened in nine months. There is a Taiwanese problem, a very sensitive one. But it is true that we need more stable relations between the two superpowers, we also need the economic management of globalization. It is undeniable that globalization has lifted many people out of poverty. But it is also true that the gap (distance) between those who have and those who do not have widened. And in this it was necessary to find a balance. My concept of equality is equality of opportunity. God did not create two identical people. If it were egalitarian, it would make us equal. Now I have equal opportunity to be able to put on a great talent, as I saw in the Castro Alves theater in El Salvador.

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The dollar continues to reflect the political scenario



The dollar continues to reflect the political scenario

Yesterday, financial agents evaluated the opposite decision of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) regarding the so-called secret budget. In addition, a decision was made by STF Minister Gilmar Méndez to issue an injunction that would exclude the Bolsa Família from the spending cap rule, with investors trying to understand how this measure would affect the processing of the transitional PEC in the Chamber of Deputies. Oh this PEC!!!!

Since he is an exchange investor, any reading that the budget will be exceeded or become more flexible will negatively affect the exchange market, whether through the PEC or in any other way. We will continue with volatility today.

Looking beyond, the US Central Bank (Fed), although slowing down the pace of monetary tightening at its December meeting, issued a tougher-than-expected statement warning that its fight against inflation was not yet over, raising fears that rising US interest rates will push the world’s largest economy into recession.

The currency market continues to react to political news. The voting on the PEC is saved for today. It is expected that it will indeed be reviewed to open the way tomorrow for discussions on the 2023 budget.

Yesterday, the spot price closed the selling day at R$5.3103.

For today on the calendar we will have an index of consumer confidence in the eurozone. Good luck and good luck in business!!

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Andrés Sánchez consults with the Ministry of Sports, but refuses a political post.



The former president of the Corinthians dreams of working for the CBF as a national team coordinator. He was consulted shortly after Lula’s election.

Former Corinthians president Andrés Sánchez was advised to take a position in the Ministry of Sports under the administration of Lula (PT). However, he ruled out a return to politics. dreams of taking over the coordination of CBF selectionHow do you know PURPOSE.

No formal invitation was made to the former Corinthian representative, only a consultation on a portfolio opportunity with the new federal government, which will be sworn in on January 1, 2023.

Andrés was the Federal MP for São Paulo from 2015 to 2019. At that time he was elected by the Workers’ Party. However, the football manager begs to stay in the sport, ruling out the possibility of getting involved in politics again.

Andrés Sanchez’s desire is to fill the position of CBF tackle coordinator, which should become vacant after the 2022 World Cup. Juninho Paulista fulfills this function in Brazil’s top football institution.

The former president of Corinthians was in Qatar to follow the World Cup along with other figures in Brazilian football. During his time in the country, he strengthened his ties with the top leadership of the CBF.

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The EU has reached a political agreement on limiting gas prices – 19.12.2022



Germany sentenced Russian to life imprisonment for political murder by order of Moscow - 12/15/2021
BRUSSELS, DECEMBER 19 (ANSA). European Union countries reached a political agreement on Monday (19) to impose a natural gas price ceiling of 180 euros per megawatt hour (MWh). The main sources of income for Russia and the minimization of the use of energy as a weapon by the regime of Vladimir Putin.

The agreement was approved by a supermajority at a ministerial meeting of member states in Brussels, Belgium, after months of discussions about the best way to contain the rise in natural gas prices in the bloc caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. .

The value set by the countries is well below the proposal made by the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, in November: 275 EUR/MWh. However, the countries leading the cap campaign were in favor of an even lower limit, around 100 EUR/MWh.

Germany, always wary of price controls, voted in favor of 180 euros, while Austria and the Netherlands, also skeptical of the cap, abstained. Hungary, the most pro-Russian country in the EU, voted against.

The instrument will enter into force on 15 February, but only if natural gas prices on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange exceed 180 euros/MWh for three consecutive days. In addition, the difference compared to a number of global benchmarks should be more than 35 euros.

Italy, the EU’s biggest supporter of the ceiling, has claimed responsibility for the measure. “This is a victory for Italy, which believed and worked for us to reach this agreement,” Environment and Energy Minister Gilberto Picetto tweeted.

“This is a victory for Italian and European citizens who demand energy security,” he added.

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Currently, the gas price in Amsterdam is around 110 EUR/MWh, which is already a reflection of the agreement in Brussels – in August the figure even broke the barrier of 340 EUR/MWh.

However, Russia has already threatened to stop exports to countries that adhere to the ceiling. (ANSA).

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