Lula’s tour of Europe (and the reception with honors in France) that irritated Bolsonaro

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Jair Bolsonaro was outraged that the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, received Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, his greatest enemy and highly probable adversary in the 2022 elections last week at the Eliseo Palace, with a protocol similar to that reserved for the heads of state.

The 76-year-old Lula’s visit to Paris was full of praise and Celso Amorim, former foreign minister of the leftist leader Workers Party (PT), even declared that the PT is seen in France as the “representative of the true Brazil”.

“In almost 60 years of diplomatic life, I do not remember seeing a former president and possible candidate for the Presidency being received as a head of state with the honor guard and the French president descending to the entrance stairs to receive him,” he said.

All this annoyed the Brazilian president, who days earlier appeared quite isolated on a visit to Italy to participate in a G20 meeting and, according to many analysts, is turning Brazil into an “international pariah.”

On Thursday night, in an interview with the radio Sociedade da Bahia, Bolsonaro spoke about the matter true to his style: no mincing words. “Macron has always been against us and always attacked us with the issue of the Amazon. As if he and his predecessors had preserved something in France. It seems like a provocation, yes,” he commented.

The president went even further and called Lula “corrupt,” and Macron – who opposes the agreement between the European Union and Mercosur over Bolsonaro’s environmental policy – said he does not represent an “example.” “They understand each other, they speak the same language,” he added.

Relations between France and Brazil in recent years have been especially tense, mainly due to the Bolsonaro Executive’s management in environmental matters.

In another blow to the Brazilian, France announced on Friday that it will deliver the National Order of the Legion of Honor, the best known of the French distinctions, to Senator Randolfe Rodrigues, one of Bolsonaro’s greatest political adversaries, for his “fervent defense” of the environment and the Paris Agreement.

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Rodrigues was also vice president of the commission that investigated the chaotic management of Bolsonaro’s pandemic and that accused the president of a dozen serious crimes, including crimes against humanity.

Tensions between France and Brazil

Relations between France and Brazil in recent years have been especially tense, mainly due to the Bolsonaro Executive’s management in environmental matters.

Although the list of controversies is long, one of the most uncomfortable chapters was during the serious fires of 2019 in the Amazon, when Macron blurted out: “Our house is burning. “The comment was described by Bolsonaro as “colonialist”.

Things escalated when Bolsonaro canceled at the last minute a meeting with Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian during a visit to Brazil citing scheduling problems, and appeared shortly after in a video cutting his hair.

Also Brigitte Macron, the first lady, became the target of ridicule and offensive comments about her physical appearance after the Brazilian president applauded a sexist comment on Facebook about the French president’s wife.

“Tour of Europe”

During his tour, Lula also met future Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Germany. “I am delighted with our conversations and I look forward to continuing our dialogue!” The German tweeted.

In the European Parliament, the PT was applauded after the speech he gave and in Spain he held a meeting with the president, Pedro Sánchez.

The PT leader recovered his political rights last March after the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil (STF) abort all processes for which he was sentenced, and was thus enabled to participate in the next presidential elections that will take place in October 2022.

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Although he has not yet confirmed his candidacy, you find them already give him as a clear favorite. And his recent tour of Europe has given him a more than positive boost even on social networks, where Bolsonarism has a prominent presence.

A survey by the consulting firm Quaest indicates that on November 15, while touring Europe, Lula reached 63.9 points in the Digital Popularity Index (IPD), while Bolsonaro, who had led the ‘ranking’ since January, 57 , 9 points.

The results of the veteran left-wing politician contrast with Bolsonaro’s recent trip to Italy.

The president not only had a very limited agenda, but he did not even participate in the group photo of world leaders, was the subject of several protests and his security agents even charged against the Brazilian press that covered his trip.

Marta Miera

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