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Spanish PM hosts Brazil’s Lula on last stop of European tour

Published on November 19, 2021

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez hosted former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Friday in Madrid, his last stop on a European tour ahead of elections in Brazil next year.

Lula, a former union leader who led Brazil from 2003 to 2010, is expected to challenge far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, though he has not yet officially declared his candidacy.

The 76-year-old currently holds a double-digit lead in opinion polls over Bolsonaro, whose popularity has plunged over his handling to the Covid-19 pandemic and high unemployment.

“Spain and Brazil share strong ties,” Sanchez tweeted alongside a photo of his meeting with Lula, who has said he will announce early next year whether he will run for president in October 2022.

Lula met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Wednesday and last week he was hosted by Germany’s Chancellor-in-waiting Olaf Scholz.

His European tour also included a stop in Brussels where he met with European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

Lula was unable to contest the last election in 2018 as he was serving a jail sentence for graft.

But he once again became eligible to run for office when in March the supreme court overturned his conviction.