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Minister Suggests Bolsonaro’s Lesser Resistance to Privatizing Petrobras



Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said he was not “hit” in his autonomy in the episode in which President Jair Bolsonaro acted to avoid Petrobras’ diesel price hike, adding that Bolsonaro “raised his eyebrow “On the theme of privatizing the oil company, in an indication of less resistance to this idea.

According to the minister, in an interview with GloboNews on Wednesday night, truck drivers from the United States and Europe do not pressure their governments because of fuel price rises in the wake of the appreciation of the barrel of oil.

Guedes also said that in the midst of this debate, Bolsonaro sent him a message highlighting greater competition in the fuel market in these regions, while in Brazil there is only “a little flag, that of Petrobras.”

“I think he (Bolsonaro) wanted to say something with that (the message),” said the minister, citing that there are “five banks, six contractors, one oil producer and refinery, three gas distributors. And there are 200 million ‘sucker’.”

Asked whether President Bolsonaro is closer to agreeing to Petrobras’ privatization, Guedes said no. “That would be a very big leap.” But the minister admitted that the president considered that possibility for a “particular state” without giving details.

The Economy Minister acknowledged that the text of the pension reform “really” should not address the compulsory retirement age of Federal Supreme Court (STF) ministers and said the government “is prepared to give in some things and in others, not “.

At the same time, Guedes admitted that it is “evident” that retreating at various points – such as BPC, the capitalization regime and the retirement age of women – “weakens” the economic team’s strategy in relation to pension reform.

Guedes said that the market is “wrong” in calculating that the reform to be approved will imply savings between 600 billion and 700 billion reais, well below the value of about 1 trillion reais defended by him. “I think it’s going to be substantially larger than 600 billion, 700 billion reais.”

The minister said he was “absolutely calm” about the risks of dehydration of the material.

For Guedes, the president Jair Bolsonaro will enter “with more weight” in the articulation by the reform as “the thing gain speed”. “I think political coordination is improving.”

The minister was asked what would be excessive reliance on welfare reform as a catalyst for growth for the country and said there are a series of “extraordinarily strong and positive” measures, such as cheap energy shock and federative pact, which are ready.

Guedes was questioned about the autonomy of the government to anticipate to the states and municipalities the distribution of resources that will enter the cashier of the Union after auction of the pre-salt surplus, since the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Rodrigo Maia (DEM-RJ) has said that the decision passes through Congress. In response, the minister was emphatic: “President Rodrigo Maia can do whatever he wants, because he is the mayor. I am saying that legally there is no Congress in the contract. ”

The minister also said that he would end the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex) if the entity left the Itamaraty and passed to the umbrella of the Economy. “Apex is redundant,” he said.

Finally, Guedes said the government will create a supervisory authority to review the governance of pension funds, some of which are affected by loss of funds due to mismanagement. Guedes said that the candidate to head the agency is the economist Solange Paiva Vieira, current superintendent of the Superintendence of Private Insurance (Susep), linked to the ministry.