Dilma Imposed Her Own Style of Doing Politics- Discreet, Businesslike - Brazilian Correspondent

Diplomacy | October 5, 2011, Wednesday // 13:06|  views

Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov (R) and Brazil`s President Dilma Rousseff (L) during the official welcome ceremony in Sofia,Bulgaria 05 October 2011. Photo by BGNES

The visit of Brazil's first female President Dilma Rousseff in Bulgaria, the country in which her father was born, is the occasion for the visit of

Deborah Berlinck, correspondent of O GLOBO, one of newspapers. Berlinck was born in Brazil but has Bulgarian origins.

In an interview for Darik radio, Berlinck says that Dilma Rousseff became President largely thanks to the support of outgoing President Lula da Silva, the most popular president in Brazilian history.

The correspondent reminds that Rouseff's chances of being elected head of state had been largely questioned due to her total lack of electoral experience but she managed to overcome the challenge by virtue of her strength and idealism.

"As you probably know, Brazil is a country where a large part of the politicians go to elections without any ideas or ideals, while Dilma took time to dwell upon hers. As you know, she has been in prison, she has been tortured. This gained her a huge advantage, all the more because she does not come from a poor family, meaning that she chose to fight not for money but for ideals," Berlinck explains.

The correspondent says that, prior to Dilma Rousseff's participation in the presidential race, nobody knew much about her origins. "We Brazilians are a people of mixed origin...We rarely get the idea to dig up our family history, which is not an easy task. We feel Brazilian and we are not much interested in where in Europe our family tree is rooted", the journalist notes.

She says, however, that Rouseff's rise to Presidency made Bulgaria a national topic of interest. "I myself have Bulgarian roots, my uncle is Bulgarian", Berlinck remarks.

Regarding the Brazilian President's stance on the problems stemming from the eurozone, she says that the head of state has been voicing serious criticism of the economic policy in the the euro area, which Rouseff is likely to repeat in her meeting with the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

"She believes that if government measures are applied, they will support the European economy. She is not the only one to say this, but it is important that she echoes this opinion", Berlinck claims.

The Brazilian-born journalist points out that, in her eight months in office, Rouseff has managed to impose her own style of politics, which she describes as discreet and business-like."When she came to power, we all thought that the Medvedev-Putin scenario would unfold, with Lula acting Putin, while Dilma takes after Mevdevev. It did not happen. She brought her own style as President. She is more discreet, more of a business lady, while Lula was more of a politician. He loved publicity and long speeches. She is not like that, she prefers meetings and discretion," Berlinck argues.

Brazil being practically unaffected by the crisis, she says that the biggest current challenge for the Brazilian head of state is to make the most of the country's strong position and to find a way to pour investments in spheres where that necessity is most obvious, for instance education, new technologies, etc.

The O GLOBO correspondent further mentions that Dilma Rouseff's popularity has been growing since she took office, meaning that the people are pleased with the course she is steering. "It remains to be seen, however, if she will go down in history as Lula did. He was a truly exceptional President who managed to win over 80% of people's votes in his second term in office. This is quite unusual," the journalist notes.

When asked about her stay in Bulgaria, Berlinck says that Bulgarians are wonderful people, "quite different from Brazilians, but very sociable". Bulgaria's overall condition, however, has been somewhat of a disappointment to her. "I expected to see Bulgaria a much more developed country 20 years after the communist era," she adds.

She also says that she was so inspired by Gabrovo, the home town of Rouseff's father, that she devoted a whole page to it so that "everybody in Brazil knows about Gabrovo and about its local humor".

"Naturally, I mentioned that Garbovo's substantial progress with EU funds absorption, but the most important thing was that it was the capital of humor in Bulgaria", the journalist concludes.

She also shares her childhood memories of delectable home-made Bulgarian banitsa and her new experience with burningly spicy meatballs.

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Tags: Medvedev, Putin, banitsa, Eurozone, Lula da Silva, Brazilian President, Brazil, Gabrovo, Dilma Rouseff, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov


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