In an exclusive interview with journalist Roseann Kennedy, on TV Brasil, Brazilian President Michel Temer said the new government should adopt multilateralism in its foreign policy. “We’ve never let ourselves be guided by ideology. Our relations are forged from country to country. I think President Jair Bolsonaro will eventually adopt this universalist policy,” he declared.
Temer referred to multilateralism as one of the requirements of globalization. In his view, isolationism may work in countries like the US, which wields significant political and economic control. “We’re not the US, we don’t have the same power,” he pointed out.
On the advice he would give to the future president, Temer listed three words: humility, moderation, and balance. “I don’t mean to say he doesn’t have them, I believe he does have these attributes, and will put them to practice. One needs serenity to lead the country,” he stated.
In his view, Congress will not pose obstacles to the new administration. “Congress is aware of what the country’s needs are. It won’t stand in the way; it will approve whatever is important,” he argued. Temer went on to note that Bolsonaro has held talks with party representatives in Congress. Even the newly elected ones, new to politics, he added, “will soon adapt and vote in favor of what’s beneficial for the Brazilian people.”
Concerning the legacy of his administration, Temer named lower inflation and interest, the increase in the value of state-run companies, and the labor reform. On environment, he cited the creation of maritime reserves and the expansion of national parks.
The president said the economic measures adopted—like the cap on public spending—helped meet social goals, rebutting critics who claimed the fiscal adjustment would come to the detriment of the country’s social landscape.
Low popularity, pension reform
In the interview, Michel Temer said his low popularity is not a nuisance to him. He reiterated he did not try to be well regarded by Brazilians through the adoption of populist measures. “I did state politics,” he declared. A good sign of his management, he said, is the fact that 13 of his cabinet members were invited to join the government at both federal and state levels in the coming administration.
According to Temer, there was a plot to prevent the pension overhaul from being brought to vote. “Everything had been prepared. Time is the master of reason. My detractor [Joesly Batista, owner of meatpacking giant JBS] was arrested as a result of a recording he himself made. The prosecutor who worked for him was charged by the Prosecution Service itself.”