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  • A man kicks a Bolsonaro doll at Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 6, 2020.

    A man kicks a Bolsonaro doll at Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 6, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 12 August 2020
Opinion

The far-right President complains he cannot sell state-owned companies without prior authorization from Congress.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro Wednesday once again defended the privatization of state properties and the reduction of the public budget amidst a crisis prompted by the resignation of senior officials linked to the management of the economic policy.

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"The state is bloated and must get rid of its loss-making companies," Bolsonaro tweeted a day after Economy Minister Paulo Guedes acknowledged that his ministry was disbanding.

On Tuesday, the Privatization Secretary Salim Mattar and the State Reform Secretary Paulo Uebel were dismissed from their positions because of delays in carrying out the tasks assigned to them by the far-right president.

In recent weeks, Treasury Secretary Mansueto Almeida and the president of the state-owned Banco do Brasil Rubem Novaes also resigned.

Besides highlighting the difficult implementation of the neoliberal agenda in Brazil, these resignations occur amid a social crisis caused by the inability of the Bolsonaro administration to control the consequences of the pandemic.

In response to the criticism, however, the former Capitan Bolsonaro said the officials resigned because of their "just personal ambitions." 

He also complained that his privatization agenda cannot be executed quickly because of a 2019 Supreme Court decision, which prevents him from selling state-owned companies without prior authorization from Congress.

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