In a review of the recent episodes involving the telecommunications industry, a senior government political and strategic decision maker is critical of Communications Minister Miro Teixeira, whose actions were ?excessively political?. Presidential Chief of Staff José Dirceu now takes a somewhat jaundiced view of Mr Teixeira as a result, the source goes on, however effectively the minister voiced President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva?s indignation over the proposed tariff increase. In any event, Lula personally chose the minister and only Lula can fire him. Meanwhile, Lula continues to count on Congressmen Jorge Bittar and Walter Pinheiro for technical assessments. Dep. Bittar shares the view that Mr Teixeira was clumsy in the populist approach he took to the tariff review issue. This is Dep. Pinheiro?s view as well, despite the fact that he regards himself as belonging to the left of the Workers Party (PT).
?Miro interpreted the president correctly but acted as a politician,? says the source. But isn?t Mr Teixeira important precisely as a politician with abundant support in Congress, especially from the Democratic Labor Party (PDT), to which he?s affiliated? ?Most PDT congressmen don?t blindly follow either Miro?s lead or [Leonel] Brizola?s when voting,? says the source. ?In fact, party leader Brizola only has four congressmen under his influence.?