Rousseff urges Cabinet to speed up Brazil works projects before election

Reuters
Brazil's President Rousseff speaks to the media after a ceremony for the new law, the Programa Mais Medicos, at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia
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Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff (C) speaks to the media after a ceremony for the new law, the Programa …

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who is expected to seek re-election in 2014, urged Cabinet ministers on Saturday to speed up major infrastructure and public services projects, amid concerns about delays with much-needed road, hospital and port improvements.

Rousseff met in Brasilia with 15 Cabinet ministers, all of them presiding over ministries related to infrastructure and social policy matters. She asked the ministers to agree on a common timetable for completing the projects, the president's chief of staff, Gleisi Hoffmann, told a news conference.

"All agendas will be organized in a way that they give priority to deliveries of the projects," Hoffmann said in remarks broadcast by state news channel NBR. Some projects include medical centers in depressed urban areas, housing under the "Minha Casa, Minha Vida" home subsidy program and rural projects.

Brazil is scrambling to lift anemic investment levels that have kept its economy stagnant. Brazil's ruling Workers' Party is pressing Rousseff to speed up the enactment of social policy actions to boost her appeal. Voters in recent months have voiced dissatisfaction with corruption, the poor quality of public services, a flagging economy and a rising cost of living.

If the election were held now, Rousseff would beat any challenger in the first round of the October 2014 election, according to opinion polls released over the past three weeks.

(Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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