The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro believes that “Europe has no lesson to give” to his country, in the grip of fires ever more intense in the Amazon.
“Europe has no lesson to give” in Brazil. This is what President Jair Bolsonaro launched on Friday 30th August 2019, about the Amazon, where the number of fires has risen sharply the previous day despite the entry into force of the ban on burns.
At the same time, Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo and Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of the President and MP, were expected at the White House for an interview with “senior officials of the administration,” an official in Washington said, without confirming the meeting with President Donald Trump announced the day before by Jair Bolsonaro.
— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) 29 August 2019
18 aircraft and 3900 men
On the ground, forest fires experienced a significant increase in 24 hours on Thursday, when a temporary ban on burning imposed by Jair Bolsonaro took effect. The army has deployed since last weekend 18 aircraft and 3900 men to fight against flames in the Amazon.
Some 2,300 new fires have been recorded in Brazil by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), including nearly 1,500 in the nine states of the Amazon.
The total number of fires recorded in the country since January is over 87,000, the highest since 2010, when more than 132,000 were recorded during the same period.
“This year’s fires are below average in recent years”
Para was the most affected state with 587 new fires in 24 hours (+ 67%). In the Rondônia, where the army concentrated its efforts, 67 new homes were raised, three times more than the day before.
“It’s not true” that the Amazon rainforest is “on fire,” Bolsonaro said live on Facebook on Thursday night, but said “this year’s fires are below average in recent years.”
He accused the Brazilian press of “feeding” international concern about it.
Friday, he attacked Europe.
He said Europe has “no lessons to give” in Brazil on the environment, while it has been under heavy pressure for more than a week.
Bolsonaro told reporters in Brasilia that he needs to talk on the phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He added that he had felt at home a desire to “return to normalcy”, after tense exchanges when Germany suspended at the beginning of August part of its subsidies for the preservation of the Amazon.
Jair Bolsonaro had, in particular, advised the Chancellor to “reforest Germany”.
“Except with our dear Macron”
He replied to the journalist who asked him about his latest words: “she (Mrs. Merkel) does not want to have a romantic relationship with me, and you want to complicate things. It is not only Germany but all of Europe that has no lesson to teach us about the environment.
The Brazilian president added to be “ready to speak with one country or another, except (with) our dear Macron, as long as he will not retract on the sovereignty (of Brazil) on the Amazon”.
Jair Bolsonaro asked for three days that the French president, who had felt that the question of sovereignty over the Amazon was open, withdraws his “insults”. Brazil is home to 60% of the Amazon rainforest.
He did not accept $ 20 million of G7 aid to the Amazon demanding, as a precondition for any discussion, a retraction from Mr Macron. He had also accused Germany and France of “being buying Brazilian sovereignty” with this help.
“A person of dialogue”
Regarding the visit of his son and the White House diplomat he announced, he said, “I asked (Donald) Trump for help”.
The US president congratulated him on Tuesday, saying he was “working very hard” in the fight against fires in the Amazon, taking the complete opposite of the other members of the G7. He had expressed the “unqualified support” of the United States in Brazil.
“Trump said he can not make a decision without listening to us. Brazil is everyone’s friend. I am a person of dialogue, “said the far-right president, who, however, has struggled with various countries over the Amazon and the preservation of the environment.
In Ariquemes, an average town 200 km south of Porto Velho in the state of Rondônia, AFP journalists have seen the advance of agriculture and livestock on the forest.
Large, well-defined land properties include extensive fields that are used as pasture for Nelore white cows. On the road to Ariquemes, there are many tractor shops and other agricultural equipment as well as advertisements for the sale of livestock or veterinary services.