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New Brazilian president promises to consolidate Lula's work

BRASILIA, Jan. 2 — Brazil's new President Dilma Rousseff said here Saturday she will consolidate her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's transforming work.

Lula led the Brazilian people to trust themselves, she said in her first presidential speech after taking the oath of office at the National Congress.

"To believe in the power of the people is the greatest lesson that President Lula leaves for us," the former chief of staff said.

On the government's achievements over the past eight years, she mentioned the reduction of Brazil's historic social debt, rescuing millions of Brazilians from poverty and allowing millions to reach the middle class.

The "ultimate commitment" of her government will be "to honor the women, to protect the most fragile and govern for all," Rousseff said.

The new president also pledged to conduct a political reform to foster Brazil's young democracy and ensure economic stability, especially of prices, to maintain the country's current growth cycle.

She said reforming the tax system and improving industrial parks and agriculture in the country are "urgent" to support major exporters.

Moreover, Rousseff pledged to promote the development of all regions of the country, and integrate works of the federal, state and municipal governments in the areas of health, education and public safety.

"Our priority is the eradication of extreme poverty and creating opportunities for all," she said.

Rousseff noted that economic growth associated with strong social programs will be the formula to overcome inequalities, and she reaffirmed her government will maintain the policy to control inflation and strengthen the reserves to prevent external vulnerability.

She said her government will defend sound economic policies in the field of multilateral forums, and will not make "the slightest concession to protectionism in rich countries."

Meanwhile, the president said that Brazil can grow in an environmentally sustainable way, noting the country is and will continue to be the world champion of clean energy.

Also, she said Brazil will not make its environmental action dependent on commitments by others.

The new government's foreign policy will maintain Brazil's previous commitment to its South American neighbors, linking Brazil's growth to the region and will prioritize relations with Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as the Middle East and Asia, the new president said.

Also, Rousseff said her government plans to forge closer ties with the United States and European Union, while paying special attention to emerging markets.

"The defense of peace does not permit indifference to nuclear proliferation, terrorism and transnational crime," she said, stressing the need for reforming multilateral institutions.

Rousseff was sworn in as Brazil's first female president here Saturday. She is the successor of the immensely popular Lula, who had served as president of the largest South American country for eight years. (PNA/Xinhua)

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