Brazil's President Michel Temer reacts during a meeting with political leaders at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Adriano Machado
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When Michel Temer took over Brazil's presidency in May, many hoped he could overcome the political gridlock, corruption scandals and economic obstacles that have hobbled Latin America's biggest country. But seven months into the job, Brazil's problems look just as intractable as they did when Temer and his congressional allies orchestrated the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, his predecessor.Like a sequel to her administration, Temer's is already beset by scandal, an unwieldy legislature and an economy that risks entering a third year of recession. After all, Temer, as vice president, was part of Rousseff's administration and, critics say, helped create the mess.To make way for future growth, Temer has bet on two measures economists have long argued would make Brazil more efficient: A constitutional amendment to limit government spending and an overhaul of the costly social security system.The messy political situation is compounded by growing tension between the executive, legislative and judicial branches.
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