Say it loud - I'm elitist and proud

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

THE WORLD Social Forum - the antiglobalisation answer to the World Economic Forum - is to meet soon in the Brazilian state of Rio Grand do Sul.

At the first session in 2001, the guest of honour was José Bové - French McDonald's vandaliser - welcomed by the state's Worker's Party government. Last October, Brazil elected Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the Workers Party candidate, as president.

But at the same election in Rio Grand do Sul, the Workers Party governor was thrown out:

...the affinity the Workers Party showed for Mr. Bové also rankled because he is one of the European Union's most outspoken supporters of restrictions on agricultural imports. Rio Grande do Sul is a major exporter of meat and grain that wants those barriers removed.

"It was a paradox that the populace was quick to perceive," said Carlos Sperotto, president of the state agricultural federation. "You had the Workers Party making common cause with the same guy who impedes the entry of our products in the French market, and that had a lot of impact."