Brazil: Lula gets controversial new plane

Jan. 15, 2005 at 4:28 PM

, Brazil, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva received his new plane --dubbed, "AeroLula" by the media -- Saturday, amid much controversy.

Earlier this month Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper said Brazil spent more than twice as much on a new planethan it did on public sanitation in 2004.

The newspaper said the government spent $46.7 million on a new plane for the president and during the same period spent just under $20 million on urban sanitation projects.

Government officials, however, said the report only took into account expenditures in sanitation from the Ministry of Cities. They said investments in sanitation that fall under the jurisdiction of other ministries far outweigh the cost of the president's new plane.

The plane is officially named after Santos Dumont, the Brazilian aviator that many in Brazil say was the first man to master heavier than air flight, even before the Wright Brothers in 1903.

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