RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian President Michel Temer said on Monday that the situation is now much better to ensure the approval of social security reform.
In a radio interview aired earlier in the day, the president said the Congress is more likely to approve the reform now than it was in late 2017. The reform is scheduled to be voted in the House on Feb. 19. Temer's allies, including head of the House Rodrigo Maia, have been working to gather support for the controversial bill.
Temer himself has been interviewed and appeared in a popular TV show on Sunday to raise support for the reform. The president is confident that the population now more understand his point of view.
"We managed to communicate with the population," he said. "Now people are approaching their representatives, and senators are saying the reform is essential."
Maia did not submit the social security system reform to the Congress last year, because there were insufficient votes for it to be approved. Now the government believes the results can be different. Yet it remains to be seen whether the administration has truly managed to beat the critics of the reform.
Critics said the reform would make Brazilians work for much more years in order to retire with lower pensions. In some Brazilian states, average life expectancy is barely above the minimum retirement age, which means many workers will not even live enough to retire.
In addition, the reform also establishes a much higher minimum number of working years to qualify for retirement, disproportionally affecting workers of physically demanding professions, forcing them to spend more years on jobs that risk their health.