MARCH 25, 2015
Will scandals lead to Rousseff's impeachment?
A corruption scandal involving alleged graft at Brazilian state oil company Petrobras has widened in recent weeks as the country's Supreme Court approved investigation into 54 high-level politicians accused of involvement, and the comptroller general opened cases against several of the country's major construction companies. The broadening scandal comes amid an economic slowdown and political challenges to the leadership of President Dilma Rousseff. How much of an effect will the scandal have on the government's ability to address the country's economic problems and the outlook for growth? How will investigations against major construction companies affect the development of infrastructure projects, particularly ahead of next year's Olympics?
Melvyn Levitsky, professor of international policy and practice at the University of Michigan and former U.S. ambassador to Brazil: "Brazilians are used to--in fact almost inured to--corruption and graft in the public sector. Reports of corruption over the years have increased cynicism, particularly among the growing middle classes. Corruption has also helped build a large informal economy; why report income and pay taxes if politicians steal from you? The current Petrobras scandal ('Petrolão'), which follows the congressional vote buying scandal ('Mensalão') during the Lula administration, has had a much more serious effect for several reasons. First, its sheer size. Estimates have varied from hundreds of millions to several billion dollars in bribes and kickbacks. Secondly..." MORE
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