BRAZIL: BIEN delegation meets with President Lula
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva met with a delegation of BIEN members on June 29th, 2010 in Sao Paulo. The meeting was arranged by Senator Eduardo Suplicy, who has been an ally of President Lula throughout his term of office. The BIEN delegation included Senator Suplicy; Guy Standing, of the University of Bath (UK); Ingrid Van Neikirk, of the Economic Policy Research Institute (Cape Town, South Africa); Karl Widerquist, of Georgetown University-Qatar; Robert van der Veen, of Amsterdam University (the Netherlands); Bishop Kameeta, of the Lutheran Church of Namibia; Louise Haag, of the University of York (UK); James Mulvale, of the University of Manitoba (Canada); and David Casassas, of Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Catalan, Spain). Each of the BIEN delegates spoke for 5 to 10 minutes. President Lula spoke for more than a half hour. He reviewed his achievements in moving Brazil toward greater equality and social justice over his seven years as president. Although he did not promise to introduce basic income in his remaining time in office, he said that he has moved in that direction as quickly as was possible given the political, social, and economic conditions of Brazil at the time. He was optimistic that the Workers Party would retain the presidency in the upcoming elections and that his successor would move further in that direction.