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News > Latin America

Brazil's Coup Government Set to Privatize 34 Public Companies

  • A student wears a mask depicting Brazil's President Michel Temer during a demonstration against him in Sao Paulo.

    A student wears a mask depicting Brazil's President Michel Temer during a demonstration against him in Sao Paulo. | Photo: Reuters

Published 29 September 2016

Temer continues to push for neoliberal reforms as his popularity continues to drop.

The interim government of Michel Temer in Brazil announced Thursday it will privatize 34 state companies in strategic areas around the country.

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"We are opening 34 opportunities for licensing in the areas of ports, airports, roads, railways, energy, oil, gas,” said Temer.

“With this, we are opening and universalizing the Brazilian market, in the belief that to combat unemployment and make the country grow it’s necessary to encourage the industry, services, agricultural businesses, besides restoring confidence, because there was a time when confidence in the country was lost," said the coup president.

The Investment Partnership Program is in charge of the privatization plan for these industries, run by Wellington Moreira Franco, a politician specialized in privatizations during the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

The airports located in Florianopolis, Salvador, Fortaleza and Porto Alegre are also part of the privatization program.

In direct contradiction with ousted president Dilma Rousseff, Temer’s plan will not require that those companies create a partnership with the state airport administrator Infraero.

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The project will begin in mid-2017 and the government has not yet given any details on which sectors will be privatized first.

Temer's all-white male cabinet has continually pursued a number of neoliberal austerity measures in the face of Brazil's worst economic recession in years.

Workers’ union have conducted several strikes and stopped work, to demand wage increases, and against the privatization of Petrobras, the state-run oil company involved in the country’s largest corruption schemes. Metallurgical sectors have also spoken out against the great wave of layoffs in Brazil.

The widely unpopular senate-imposed president has been accused of having illegally requested campaign donations in 2012. Temer became Brazil’s interim president after leftist President Dilma Rousseff was impeached in what many have described as a parliamentary coup.

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