Brazil: what to expect from Lula's new presidency?

More than a dozen foreign heads of state and government travelled to Brasilia on Sunday to attend Lula da Silva's inauguration ceremony. Expectations are high for the new Brazilian president, who has set his sights on protecting the country's vast Amazon region. But commentators caution against too much optimism.

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Diário de Notícias (PT) /

A herculean task

Reconciling economic growth with climate protection will be enormously difficult, writes publicist Jonuel Gonçalves in Diário de Notícias:

“This is a gigantic economy that needs a huge and constant rhythm of growth. ... Climate and the environment are at the heart of the Brazilian configuration. The Amazon and the Pantanal have water and forest resources without which there simply cannot be a global policy in this area. These are just a few examples of the political challenges ahead. It will be very difficult. The parliamentary basis of the new government is fragile, consisting of agreements in which some of the signatories exchange their votes ballot by ballot, and the expectations of the voters are very high.”

Die Welt (DE) /

Let's stay real

The daily Die Welt sees no cause for euphoria:

“Lula, like Bolsonaro, is a populist, albeit on the left of the spectrum. And like Bolsonaro, Lula did too much insulting and discriminating during the election campaign for us to believe that he will suddenly become a reconciler now. Lula has always been a man of the fossil climate killer oil, and in his first term in office he produced deforestation figures that are apocalyptic from today's perspective. ... The current reality: the oil industry is hoping to gain hundreds of thousands of new jobs. None of this sounds like hands-on climate protection. But he deserves a fair chance to prove that he can become a reconciler and climate protector.”

El País (ES) /

The wounds must heal

Bolsonarism still has the potential to do major damage, warns El País:

“It's alive and kicking in Brazil, and Lula da Silva will have to deal with it without losing sight of the fact that, right now, he embodies hope for a better Brazil. He must bear in mind that his main task after his exciting comeback is to heal the grave wounds of inequality that afflict the country and lead it back to the path of the rule of law.”

Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

More trade with South America on the horizon

With Lula's inauguration, the chances of a free trade agreement between Europe and Mercosur increase, Rzeczpospolita points out:

“The new president has announced a halt to the deforestation of the Amazon. This opens up the possibility that a free trade agreement between Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay) and the EU could soon come into force. At a time when doing business with Russia and China is becoming increasingly difficult, economic expansion in Latin America is becoming ever more important for Europe.”