Friday, July 01, 2005

Brass neck

I had to laugh really. With pages 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the Folha de Sao Paulo taken up with the post office scandal/corruption story, I found yet anothger case of dubious public office activity in Brazil. But this time it was the bare cheek of the people involved.

Apparently in a town not far from Rio, Itaboari, the mayor passed a law through the council that ties his salary to the tax take, at 0.5%. This means that he earns around R$30,000 a month (over GBP6000). This apparently is in contravention of the constitution which states that no public office salary can be more than that for a Supreme Court minister, set at just over R$17,000 (nearly GBP4000). The president only gets R$8900 a month (nearly GBP2000).

When the Folha tried to contact the mayor they were told he was away on a fishing trip with friends until the end of next week - and both mobile phones failed to work.

If only these people were as good at taking care of matters as they are with lining their pockets then Brazil would have nothing to worry about. But it's the sheer arrogance and contempt for ethics which in a way you almost have to admire (as an addition, Jefferson's allegations don't make him innocent - he freely admits to having engaged in dodgy accounting of his party's election campaigns, using it as his justification to speak with some authority on the matter).

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