When Pedro Parente took over as Petrobras CEO, he assured investors that the government would not interfere with the company’s pricing policy. That decision would be strictly based on business, Parente said at the time. Almost two years later, however, the executive is being forced to accept political intervention.
The Brazilian state-owned oil and gas company announced that it will slash diesel prices by 10 percent – and will freeze fares for 15 days. The decision follows a nationwide protest by truck drivers against mounting fuel prices. As roadblocks have been set up across 23 states, the government couldn’t help but bow to the truckers’ demands.
While Parente stated that the decision is by no means a change in the company’s pricing policy, the power balance is not tipping in favor of the government. President Michel Temer asked for a three-day “truce” to give the administration some time to come up with a solution to the quagmire, but truckers refused and plan to stay put at least through Friday.