He said: “In the past, on the way back, I was against privatization, I have changed a lot. Today, I spoke with Paolo Guedes, let’s begin to study this work.”
(Reuters) – President Jair Bolsonaro said on Wednesday he had asked Economy Minister Paulo Guedes to conduct a study on the potential privatization of Petrobras, but said the process was not simple because it relied on Congressional approval of a final project sent by the federal government.
Bolsonaro, in an interview with Rede TV, said it was necessary to end Petrobras’ monopoly in order to lower fuel prices. He admitted he had been against privatization in the past, but said he had now changed his mind and asked Guedes to conduct a study on the possible sale of the state oil company.
Bolsonaro said when asked if privatizing Petrobras was the answer to increasing fuel prices.
“Privatizing a state-owned company is not about putting it on the shelf next week, and whoever gives more takes it. It’s a huge complication. And it is passed, according to a decision of the Federal Supreme Court, whoever gives the green light for privatization, send the project to Congress, Congress says what Whether it can be privatized or not. It’s another complication. That’s where pressure comes in.”
Bolsonaro complained that the matter only “takes a hit” from Petrobras, referring to criticism of the government’s escalation of fuel prices, and said that it is for this reason that he advocates for the end of the state-owned company’s monopoly.
“We have to leave to end the monopoly, not let it go to another monopoly, but we have to make Petrobras have competition,” Bolsonaro said.
This Wednesday, the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM) opened an administrative action on Petrobras, without informing the cause, following statements by Bolsonaro and Economy Minister Paulo Guedes about the company’s privatization.
The registration on the CVM website does not state the purpose of the investigation. According to a source familiar with the matter, the operation was opened after Petrobras published a related fact on Monday that it had questioned the government about possible studies to privatize the company.
In an interview with a radio station Monday morning, Bolsonaro asserted that the privatization of Petrobras had “entered the government’s radar,” acknowledging that this is not an immediate process.
Later, at an event in Palácio do Planalto, Guedes waved at privatizing the state-owned company by proposing to “think boldly” at Petrobras, and asserted that the mere mention of this possibility by Bolsonaro was enough to make the oil company’s shares soar.
The president also mentioned in the interview that the government must respect the spending cap, which limits investment capacity, but said it would be possible to raise the value of Bolsa Família – which will change its name to Auxílio Brasil – if Congress approves a new model for paying court orders.
Bolsonaro also said he expects a decision on the new party will be made in the coming days.
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