Rags To Riches: While the world has been transfixed by the astonishing economic growth in China and India, just out of the spotlight Brazil has been busily turning a once moribund economy into a juggernaut.
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Not so long ago you could watch the inflation rate tick higher by the hour in Brazil, unemployment grew just as quickly and the nation was in the grip of a military dictatorship. Despite all this, Brazilians have remained optimistic. With momentum building, tens of millions are being winched out of poverty and into relative prosperity, and within a few years it’s estimated the nation’s middle class will number 150 million.”It’s the Brazilian moment! We’ve always said we’re going to be the country of the future…I think we’re there”, says Eduardo Paes, the Mayor of Rio. The economic rise has been fast and frenetic, but the economy is a bullet train and much of the country still runs on the old single gauge; many are worried that it is struggling to keep up with itself. “There are 16 million people still living under the poverty line with less than they need to have a daily meal”, says Father Fernandes. Nevertheless, many Brazilians believe the World Cup and the Olympics will be coming-of-age celebrations.”We always find something to celebrate. That’s why this country is so special: it’s full of passion”. Can they avoid a throbbing hangover?
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