Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Turbulent Brazil Scandals and a Sour Economy Threaten a President

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Turbulent Brazil Scandals and a Sour Economy Threaten a President

Article excerpt

Scandals involving two of Brazil's biggest companies, Odebrecht and Petrobras, and the party of President Dilma Rousseff are threatening its global standing.

Brazil, the world's fifth-largest country in population and size, is a relative newcomer to the international big leagues. It is the "B" in the so-called BRIC group of countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - emerging as major economic powers. To be taken seriously, Brazil had to bring under control its classic ills, including military rule and galloping inflation, and it did that.

Now it is slipping. A scandal that involved Odebrecht, Latin America's largest conglomerate, with interests running from oil field services to logging, and Petrobras, Brazil's state-controlled oil giant, accused of passing bribes to Ms. Rousseff's Workers' Party, has triggered mass protests demanding her departure. Her term runs until 2018.

Besides the scandal, Brazil also faces growing economic problems. The World Economic Forum ranks the quality of its infrastructure 120th out of 144 countries, for which it needs $69 billion in foreign investment. …

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