Bolsonaro, pressured by the increase in fuel, fires the president of Petrobras

From Sao Paulo

the president of Brazilian state oil company PetrobrasJosé Mauro Ferreira Coelho, presented this Monday your resignation to the position for which he had been appointed two months ago by the president Jair Bolsonaro.

Urged by the increase in fuel prices less than four months before the elections, ,Bolsonaro pressured Ferreira Coelho to relinquish ownership of the company open capital traded on the New York and São Paulo stock exchanges.

Through a statement, Petrobras reported, “Mr. José Mauro Coelho requested his resignation from his position this morning,” after which it was announced that his temporary replacement will be Caio Mario Paes de Andrade, current official of the Ministry of Economy where he is works as Secretary of Debureaucratization (with tasks related to privatization programs).

During the morning the market reacted negatively to the situation of the company whose shares fell by 5% and ceased to be traded on the São Paulo stock exchange momentarily to avoid its collapse.

Later, in the early afternoon, the shares were offered again, this time with an upward trend.

Thus it was temporarily closed. this new crisis initiated by Bolsonaro last week by saying that “Petrobras can plunge Brazil into chaos (…) with disastrous consequences for our people”.

And after that, announce the creation of a Parliamentary Investigative Commission, moved through the ruling bloc, to intimidate Ferreira Coelho, the third head of the company so far in this government. Previously, Roberto Castelho Branco and General Joaquim Silva e Luna held this position, both fired before completing their mandates.

Prices

Motorists and transporters reacted with criticism on Saturday when the fuel increases decreed by Ferreira Coelho on Friday came into force in one of his last measures as head of the oil company.

Diesel rose 14.26% this weekend, added to the increases of 8.8% in May and 24.9% in March following the internal price policy subject to increases in oil in the global market influenced by the war in Ukraine.

In parallel, gasoline became more expensive by 5.18%, which is added to the rise of 18.7% that had been implemented in March.

The cost strategy known as Import Parity Price (PPI), It has the endorsement of the Economy Minister, the more than liberal Paulo Guedes.

This policy designed to increase the profits of foreign and local shareholders ignores a crucial aspect: Petrobras produces the bulk of its diesel and gasoline with oil extracted in Brazil, which does not make it unnecessary for it to replicate in the local market the value of crude oil in the Exterior.

From the opposition, the Workers’ Party (PT) accuses Bosonaro of plotting a diversionary maneuver through an incendiary speech against the firm.

“The government puts all the blame on Petrobras, but he is the majority shareholder of the company and the one who appoints its president (Ferreira Coelho) and half of the directors (of its management) who are responsible for defining the pricing policy,” the head of the PT, Gleisi Hoffmann, said today.

Votes

Linked to the rise in fuel prices is “wide” inflation (an extensive range of goods and services) that rose to 11.73% in the accumulated figure for the last twelve months up to May, a rise in prices that exceeds 12% if considered only the products of the family basket.

On the other hand, the tandem Bolsonaro-Guedes determined a little more than a month ago, when the 2023 budget law was drawn up, that the minimum wage will not have a real increase, that is, above inflation, “declaring the end of the wage appreciation policy established in governments of Dilma and Lula,” pointed out the Central Unica de los Trabajadores (CUT).

The combination of higher prices, frozen wages and more than 19 million unemployed and disenchanted (the unemployed who are no longer looking for work) it is a bomb for the electoral aspirations of retired army captain Bolsonarowhom the latest polls place about 20 points behind Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

And in those same measurements on the October 2 elections, it was recorded that for a good part of the voters, inflation as well as the lack of control of gasoline are the fault of the president-candidate. Despite his overacted fight with Petrobras over the gasoline explosion.

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