Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has been sworn in as the new President of Brazil. The 77-year-old took his oath of office in Congress on Sunday. He had previously driven through the capital, Brasília, in an open Rolls-Royce with his wife Janja and the new Vice President Geraldo Alckmin and his wife.
Thousands of supporters cheered him on. More than a dozen heads of state attended the inauguration, including Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. After the celebrations, a big music festival with more than 40 artists was planned.
After talks with the new President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier assigned Brazil an important role in international relations. "It's good to know that Brazil is back on the international stage," Steinmeier said on Sunday, just before Lula's inauguration in Brasília. "We need Brazil," said Steinmeier when asked what interest Germany had in Lula's success.
According to Steinmeier, the "smoothly completed presidential elections" and the transfer of office showed "how lively democracy is in the largest country in Latin America". The Federal President said to journalists: "Here in Brazil, not only is a new year beginning, but also a new political era".
Lula won the runoff for the presidency much narrower than expected with 50.9 percent against incumbent Jair Bolsonaro (49.1 percent). Lula enjoyed widespread support from national and international media. With his election victory, the "People's Republic of Latin America" is almost complete: Almost all major economies between the Rio Bravo and Tierra del Fuego are now governed by the left or extreme left.
"We need a Brazilian political leadership that will play its part - not only in economic cooperation, but also in protecting the global climate," said Steinmeier. He was pleased to find that Lula was willing to fulfill exactly this role with Brazil. "And he is counting on the fact that not only Germany, but also Germany, is willing to cooperate internationally."
Steinmeier announced that Germany would soon provide 35 million euros for the Amazon Fund to protect the rainforest. This is money that was frozen during the time of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro. "It is important to all of us that we preserve the green lungs of the earth, the rainforests of the Amazon," said Steinmeier.
The Federal President met with left-wing politician Lula on Saturday evening shortly after his arrival in Brasília. "Following the conversation, I also have the impression that confidence is justified as far as the development of trade relations between South America and Europe is concerned," said Steinmeier on Sunday. Lula made it very clear that he would reverse Bolsonaro's decision and re-enter negotiations on the Mercosur trade deal.
Lula ruled the largest country in Latin America from 2003 to 2010. He is now the first democratically elected president in Brazil to serve a third term. He defeated his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro in the runoff election in October. Contrary to custom, the right-wing ex-military did not take part in the swearing-in ceremony. He had already traveled to the USA with his family on Friday
Lula now faces great challenges. After his predecessor deeply divided society and isolated the country, the new president wants to reconcile Brazil and bring it back onto the international stage. Lula announced a resolute environmental protection and climate policy and measures against increasing hunger. However, he is dealing with a congress in which supporters of President Bolsonaro, who has been voted out, make up the largest faction.
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