Bolsonaro Wants to Privatize Brazil’s State-Owned Petrobras

BRICS, 18 Oct 2021

teleSUR - TRANSCEND Media Service

15 Oct 2021 – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro declared yesterday that he wants to privatize state-owned Petrobras as he authorized the entry of US military forces for exercises next month.

Brazil has the world’s largest natural gas reserves but the dismantling of Petrobras, which began when the US DOJ-backed Lava Jato operation began crippling strategic sectors of Brazilian industry, has left the company without enough production facilities to process it.
| Photo: Twitter/@BrianMteleSUR

Paulo Guedes, Minister of Economy, suggested the day before yesterday that the government could sell part of its controlling stake in the state-owned oil company to supposedly finance welfare programs.

Petrobras’ preferred shares rose two percent after the president’s comments, before lowering to just one percent.

RELATED: Brazilian Parliament Approves the Privatization of Eletrobras

“I want to privatize Petrobras. I will review with the economic team what we can do about it, because I cannot control the company, I cannot direct gasoline prices, but when it goes up it is my fault,” Bolsonaro argued in a radio interview.

The president had been against the privatization of Petrobras, calling the company “strategic” for the country’s interests.

However, the oil company has become a hot political issue, as energy costs raised inflation for Brazilian consumers to double digits, affecting Bolsonaro’s popularity ahead of next year’s presidential elections.

Bolsonaro similarly signed a decree that “authorizes the entry and temporary stay of U.S. military forces in the national territory for participation in the training exercise” from November 28 to December 18, in the Paraíba Valley region, between the municipalities of Resende (Rio de Janeiro, southeast) and Lorena (São Paulo, southeast).

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