Brazil’s Urban Reform Group Meets Lula, Makes Demands and Gets

    Representatives of the four organizations that are coordinating the National March for Urban Reform and Urban Rights, considered positive the meeting they had, Monday, August 15, with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

    Accompanied by the Minister of Cities, Márcio Fortes, they delivered the President a list of 22 demands, including more funds to pay for the construction of mass habitation.


    “A lot of the demands will be taken care of,” said Juscelino Franca, coordinator of the National Confederation of Residents’ Association (Conam), one of the organizations that participated in the March, which continued, yesterday, August 16, in Brasí­lia, in front of the Ministry of Finance, protesting the government’s economic policy.


    According to the coordinator of the Center of Popular Movements (CMP), Raimundo Bonfim. the government allocated US$ 257.7 million (600 million reais) of the country’s budget, starting in 2006, for the construction of mass housing for the country’s low-income population.


    “It’s possible that another US$ 128.86 million (300 million reais) will be added very soon” Bonfim added. The peoples’ movements were demanding that US$ 515 million (1.2 billion reais) be alloted to the construction of mass housing.


    Some of the demands presented to the President will still be debated, because they depend upon negotiations with business owners and the National Congress. This is the case, for example, with reducing bus fares and the Basic Sanitation Law.


    Bonfim said that the group was satisfied with the meeting, because they heard from the President that the government’s policies developed by the Ministry of Cities will not be changed, despite the fact that Olí­vio Dutra was replaced by Márcio Fortes in the recent Cabinet reform.


    “The social movements were also assured by the government, according to Bonfim, that a proposal will be sent to the National Council of Cities by September to regulate the law that established the National Housing Fund and National Housing System of Social Interest.”


    ABr

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