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Brazil Reinstates Culture Ministry After Thousands Protest

Michel Temer, Brazil’s interim president, has restored the country’s culture ministry after his decision to dissolve it by folding it into the Ministry of Education caused Brazilian artists to protest throughout the country, according to Reuters. Temer’s plan to merge the two was a part of his crusade to reduce the number of the country’s ministries from thirty-two to twenty-three. This is one of a series of reversals he has made during the government’s recent transition in leadership. Marcelo Calero, a diplomat, took up the position of culture minister on Monday, May 23.

In the aftermath of Temer’s decision to ax the culture ministry, which he announced on May 12, artists quickly organized demonstrations with people occupying ministries in eleven regional capitals. Erasmo Carlos and Caetano Veloso, Brazilian music legends, gave a concert in Rio de Janeiro on May 20 during one of the protests. When Temer asked singer Daniela Mercury and actress Bruna Lombardi to head up the reduced culture portfolio after it merged with the education ministry, both women said no.

Temer was put in charge of Brazil, Latin America’s most robust economy despite being in the midst of a terrible recession and numerous corruption scandals, after leftist president Dilma Rousseff was put on trial and removed from her post for breaking rules regarding the country’s budget. Temer says that he will put into action a series of business-friendly reforms to try and strengthen Brazil’s economy.

The interim government plans intends to reveal more austerity measures, planning minister Romero Jucá said on his Twitter account after a meeting with Temer and the finance minister on May 21.