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Brazilian president announces measures to aid local governments
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09:57, February 11, 2009

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President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Tuesday announced several measures to benefit local governments during a meeting with about 3,500 mayors.

The primary measure would allow local governments' debts with the Social Security Department to be financed in 20 years, with a 50-percent reduction in debt interest.

Lula also signed a decree simplifying the regularization process of urban areas in the Amazon Rainforest and increased a Brazilian Development Bank line of credit for towns to buy tractors and other agricultural equipment.

The president reaffirmed that there will be no cuts in the Growth Acceleration Project despite the international financial crisis. He said the projects will secure Brazil's development.

Lula said the measures aim to strengthen the relationship between local and federal governments, decrease the bureaucracy in joint projects, and encourage local government's participation in a crisis moment.

"What we want in this meeting is not to create conveniences, but to create commitment," he said.


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