Merry Christmas Mr. President

“About two weeks back, Correios delivered a box to the Presidental Palace containing a present for President Lula and another, identical, for his wife Marisa Letícia. Upon opening the packages, the employees of the Historic Documentation Directory, responsible for the identification of everything that involves the Presidency, technically acted, as usual, even though the objects called attention to the unusual: two cake mixers.

These are small examples of the gifts received by Lula and his wife since January of 2003, when the couple moved to Brasília. When he leaves office, on January 1st, he will have to take everything that he received over the last eight years: from valuable objects to small souvenirs. In the beginning, the objects must be taken to a depository. The intention is to create an institute, just as the ex-president, Fernando Henrique, did.

By last Friday, excluding all the correspondence and electronic messages that totaled 642,977 texts, there were 760,440 objects, among them were presents, audiovisual archives (including paintings, photos and films) and books – material that can fill 11 trucks.” – O Globo (in PT, more here)

Reminds me slightly of another story from 1994 about a certain 17 tons of gifts that ‘slipped through’ customs.

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