Despite protests, slog more likely than radical change in Brazil
By Paulo Prada
RIO DE JANEIRO Aug 17 (Reuters) - Despite protests by hundreds of thousands of Brazilians against President Dilma Rousseff and ongoing calls for her impeachment, little suggests radical change in Brazil anytime soon.
With the country hobbled by legislative gridlock, a lack of viable alternatives to the established political parties and an economic reversal so complete that its currency is trading at a 12-year trough, there are no easy or fast fixes.
"We see no immediate solution, but what else can we do?" said Rogerio Chequer, the São Paulo-based leader of one of the grassroots organizations that organized marches across the country on Sunday.
The latest in a round of demonstrations across Brazil this year came as the economy reels from its sharpest slowdown in three decades, a vast corruption scandal ensnares political and corporate kingpins and a federal audit considers rejecting the government's 2014 book-keeping.
Together, the problems amount to a giant reversal for a country that, buoyed by a commodities boom and a consumer binge, appeared ready to make a long-sought leap into the league of economic heavyweights when Rousseff first took office in 2011.
They have also left Brazilians frustrated by what they believe is a lack of leadership across the political spectrum. Two-thirds of them want Rousseff's impeachment, polls show.
But rather than any radical shift in a country now in its 13th year of rule by the leftist Workers' Party, what many expect is a deep and protracted slog.
"There may be lots of people on the street, but that's not likely to change much," says Esther Solano, a sociologist who has studied Brazil's protests and growing discontent with its political class. "For real change you need new ideas and new leaders and that is totally absent." Continuación...