Economy and Energy
Year  II - N 9

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Graphic Edition:
Graphic E
Sunday, 13 December 1998.

The Former Minister Camilo Penna

Carlos Feu Alvim

The former minister Camilo Penna gave an interview to Estado de Minas which we reproduce in e&e. As habitually, he does not seek unanimity and I know that some consider or will consider pessimistic the tone of the interview. Dr. Camilo told me once that he became optimistic due to the fact that his pessimistic previsions never came true. I have been a close follower of his thoughts as a public man and so I can say that many of his previsions - pessimistic or optimistic - have in many cases come true. May be this is the reason of the tone of this interview. Camilo Penna accumulates perfectly the qualities of public men from Minas Gerais that are lacking in the present national politics.

He has occupied first rank positions at the state and federal levels and has projected an image of competence, righteousness and coherence among his collaborators and the public, which are his trade mark and should serve as an example. It’s no wonder that even though away from power he has been requested and, as he said in his interview, he has even earned some money with his work as an independent adviser. Since I know the tone of his evaluations I should infer that the Brazilian entrepreneur - at least those who seek his advice - has already understood the value of his balanced and objective vision, even when he does not announce a horizon without problems. I have worked with him when he was Minister and I admired the attention and time that he devoted to the discussion of ideas and to reflection. His Cartesian thought was always subordinated to solid ethical principles.

In different functions and not directly related, we continued to maintain a profitable exchange of ideas. During all these years, in his analysis of the social and economic Brazilian situation, I have never heard from him any gratuitous criticism. On the opposite, he was always able to perform the difficult task of making constructive criticism that indicated solutions and alternatives. As he always reflected profoundly about his action, he maintains coherence between his thought and action in the present and in the past. Following and actively participating in the evolution of the economic thought, he never subordinated himself to modernism or to what is called modernity. I invite the readers of e&e to reflect about what the former minister Penna presents us. In this interview, even those like me who do not agree integrally with his analysis , should recognize that it assembles an original view of the circumstances we are now living and an experience that is worth while being taken into account. If wisdom would not be unfashionable I would say that we should hear his good judgment.

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