BRASILIA – President Michel Temer said in his New Year’s address on Thursday that Brazil would emerge from its severe economic downturn in 2017.
“The year 2017 will be a new year, not a continuation of 2016,” Temer said in his last address of the year.
Temer, who took office after President Dilma Rousseff, of the Workers Party (PT), was ousted by Congress on Aug. 31, reviewed his administration’s accomplishments.
The president praised Congress for its backing of the tough austerity measures proposed by his administration in an effort to balance the budget.
Congress approved controversial legislation proposed by Temer that will limit public spending growth to the inflation rate for the next 20 years and lawmakers are debating other austerity measures.
The legislation led to sometimes violent protests by the opposition, which contends the law will slash funding for education and health care.
The opposition says the austerity measures would further weaken the already recession-hit country’s economy and drag Brazil toward social upheaval.
“We are not going to stop. This administration has to be an administration that sets records,” said Temer, who has a low approval rating.