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Cablegate: Global Economy; South Africa

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RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 9669
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TAGS: KMDR OPRC OIIP ETRD XM XR BR
SUBJECT: GLOBAL ECONOMY; SOUTH AFRICA

While the help doesn't come

Lead editorial in center-right O Estado de S. Paulo (09/23) says:
"The initial enthusiasm is over, the financial market found out that
the world is not safe yet and that approval of the US$ 700 billion
plan presented by the U.S. government on Friday will demand tough
negotiations. The Executive Branch asks urgency of the Congress,
but senators and congressmen, as well as the candidates for the U.S.
presidency, try to gain politically with the crisis and also with
the bailout operation proposed by President George W. Bush and by
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. No important politician opposes
the use of public money if it is used to avoid the worst, but
there's no lack of suggestions as to how to execute the
intervention. ... In the world's other rich countries, no government
is willing to adopt a plan similar to that presented by Bush and
Paulson. ... Brazil is ok, but the crisis should not be
underestimated, observed Brazilian Central Bank president Henrique
Meirelles on Monday. Now, President Lula says he is not considering
the hypothesis of the crisis contaminating Brazil. Thank God, said
Lula, the U.S. crisis up to now "did not cross the Atlantic." In
fact, it is not easy to come from the U.S. to Brazil by this
route."

The South African Challenge

Editorial in liberal Folha de S. Paulo (09/23) comments: "After nine
years in power, South African president Thano Mbeki announced his
resignation on Sunday. ...It is the end of an era. Upon succeeding
Nelson Mandela, Mbeki represented the consolidation of the
post-apartheid society in the country. He leaves as his legacy an
unprecedented stability and an emerging black middle class.
However, Mbeki was not able to achieve any notable triumph over the
persistent poverty in the country. Income disparity grows and the
challenge of racial polarization has not yet been overcome. ...With
Mbeki's decline, the model of power represented by the African
National Congress (ANC) is the key for the future. ... The coming
months will show if the young democracy will continue to point to a
promising future for the continent."
Story

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