...Yet Most Brazilians Back Program

THE Collor government and its economic plan this week move onto more solid ground, now that Brazil's Congress has approved the crux of the plan. The voting, which began April 3, ended late Wednesday before the Easter weekend, and is set to finish up early this week.

Announced March 16 in the form of ``provisionary measures,'' the plan went into effect immediately.

But the law required the legislature to consider it in 30 days, or the measures would no longer be law.

Congress approved Wednesday the most controversial measure, the 18-month blockage of funds over 50,000 new cruzados, about $1,190, in savings accounts, and the creation of a new currency, the new cruzeiro.

The vote reflected the general popular support that exists for the plan, despite the sacrifices it imposes.

A poll by the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper last week found that 71 percent of those surveyed support the measures, even though 68 percent believe these measures will increase unemployment.

Political analysts also say Congress approved the squeeze on savings, so as not to be blamed if the plan doesn't work.

President Fernando Collor de Mello may veto some amendments, a pro-government congressional leader said Thursday.

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