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Brazilian president proposes reforms in wake of protests

June 24, 2013

The streets of dozens of Brazilian cities have been amassed with protesters over the past week. However, Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff today stated that she is willing to begin talks to move toward reform. Specifically, The Telegraph reported that she proposed a referendum on the issue of political corruption, which along with a hike in public bus fares, is viewed as the cause of the protests. News that the protests may be calming down could prompt some Brazilians to phone foreign relatives and express relief, with the use of an international calling card.

Rousseff's proposed referendum would include a renewed focus on education, public transportation, healthcare, inflation and corruption. The latter issue, which is particularly sensitive, led the Brazilian President to decry it strongly in a live broadcast.

"We must also give priority to combating corruption in a stronger way than is already being done in all spheres...A key initiative is a new law that classifies willful corruption as equivalent to a heinous crime, with penalties much more severe," Rousseff said, according to the news source.

The Associated Press reported that the president also announced that $23 billion would be funneled toward public transportation and infrastructure improvements.

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