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  • An anti-Temer rally in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

    An anti-Temer rally in Sao Paulo, Brazil. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 December 2017
Opinion

Opposition to privatization prevailed in virtually every metric analyzed: region, sex, education and political party preference.

Seventy percent of Brazil's population is against privatizing state-owned companies, according to a new poll published by Datafolha.

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Most of the population, 67 percent to be precise, also predicts more harm than benefit in the sale of Brazilian corporations to foreign groups.

Opposition to privatization prevailed in virtually every metric analyzed: region, sex, education, political party preference and even among the few who approved of de-facto Brazilian President Michel Temer, who, according to this month's Ipsos survey, has a disapproval rating of 97 percent.

Approval of privatization steadily dropped in accordance with the decrease in each respondent's monthly household salary. A mere 13 percent of those who receive two minimum salaries (roughly US$566) per household favored privatization.

Only those who receive salaries ten times higher than the minimum wage (over US$2,830), some 55 percent of respondents, viewed the sale of state-owned companies as being a positive move by the government.

Residents of Brazil's vast north and northeast regions, the most underserved areas of the country, were most adamant about retaining control of state-owned companies. While a whopping 78 percent of respondents from the north voiced their rejection to privatization, 76 percent of their northeast neighbors also concurred.

Privatization of Brazil's state-controlled oil company, Petrobras, was rejected by 70 percent of respondents. Possible participation of foreign capital in the company was opposed by 78 percent.

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With Brazil's budget deficit calculated at reaching almost US$50 billion dollars as of August, the Temer administration is preparing a privatization package that could net US$28 billion dollars by the end of 2018.

The package, which has been elaborated by the federal government's infrastructure team, according to Poder360, includes the privatization of airports, oil blocks, hydropower plants and other strategic, government-owned entities.

The multi-billion-dollar privatization package comes amid a host of austerity measures implemented or proposed by Temer.

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