In Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and other cities across Brazil, thousands of citizens took to the streets to protest the pension reform ordered by Michel Temer. At least 18 states and the federal district were clogged by strikes and street barricades Wednesday in what has been called the “Day of National Paralysis.”
It was a very successful protest, organized by trade unions and popular organizations against the neoliberal measures undertaken by the Temer government, which took over after the institutional coup that ousted Dilma Rousseff.
After having passed a constitutional reform which prevents the possibility of welfare for 20 years, Temer now wants to increase the retirement age to 65 (for both men and women) and increase to 49 years the minimum contributions necessary to achieve retirement. The reform also includes other aspects, like reducing survivor’s pensions and raises. In Brasilia, Temer justified the reform citing the social security deficit, which amounts to about $48 billion. In Brazil, the cost of social security is equal to 2.7 percent of GDP.