Poverty flees Lula’s Brazil

BRASILIA - Millions of Brazilians have emerged out of poverty since 2003 as a result of economic growth and social welfare policies, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Thursday.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Fri 28 Dec 2007, 8:04 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:44 PM

Job and salary growth as well as increased government aid are helping to eradicate poverty in Brazil, he said.

In the last 17 months alone, 14 million people joined a new middle class, Lula said in a televised year-end address. In 5 years, 20 million people (out of a population of 184 million) rose from the lower classes, he said.

“Brazil finally discovered how to achieve economic growth with social equality,” said Lula, who came to power in January 2003 on pledges to tackle the wide gap between rich and poor.

Since then, the former factor worker has substantially increased the minimum wage, boosted aid to poor families and overseen one of the strongest, continuous periods of economic growth in decades.

The growing middle class will help ensure strong economic growth next year, Lula added. “We are beginning the year with vigorous growth,” the former union leader said.

Independent economists expect growth of 5.12 percent in 2007 and 4.5 percent next year.

Lula began his second four-year term in January, following a land-slide election victory in October 2006.

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