100 days. President Jair Bolsonaro reached the symbolic 100-day mark on April 10, still having little to show for. The pension reform remains a distant reality, and the public deficit—which Economy Minister Paulo Guedes promised to eliminate in 2019—increased in February to 1.7% of the GDP. On the flip side, the government was able to push the privatizations of federal assets as planned.
Tragedy.At least 7 people died and 9 more were injured when two condemned buildings in a militia-controlled community of Rio de Janeiro collapsed on Friday, just days after deadly rains caused chaos in the city.
Auto industry.China’s truck manufacturer Foton is one of the candidates to purchase Ford’s São Bernardo do Campo plant. Two months ago, the American automaker announced it is abandoning its truck business in Latin America. Foton will have to outbid Caoa—which produces Cherry and Hyundai vehicles in Brazil.
Diplomacy.The Ministry of Agriculture will send one of its secretaries to Moscow in an attempt to solve a crisis sparked by Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo, who said the Russians have no business in Venezuela. Brazilian officials believe that Russia will retaliate, imposing restrictions on goods coming from Brazil.
Bolsonaro and the truckers
Supported by truckers, Mr. Bolsonaro has always been ambiguous about his commitment to a more liberal pricing policy. His political program said that the company should follow international prices, but with softer short-term changes. After the election’s first round, he said: “You can’t have a predatory policy that saves Petrobras and destroys the Brazilian economy.”
Newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reports that Wallace Landim, a truck union leader, threatened the President’s Chief of Staff with a strike if today’s price bumps were confirmed. Six hours later, the government informed Mr. Landim that the decision had been suspended.
This direct connection between the government and truckers’ leaders has worried the markets, the Ministry of the Economy, and even Big Agro—which would have a lot to lose from a new strike. More worrisome still is how easily the government caved under pressure.
A federal court ended legal proceedings against Adelio Bispo, the man who stabbed Jair Bolsonaro in September 2018. The president hasn't appealed the sentence, which acquitted Bispo. He is considered mentally incapable and is committed to a psychiatric facility. https://t.co/JyRUbtjjxe
Pres. Bolsonaro announced that the Education Ministry ordered the cancelation of an entry exam reserved for trans and non-binary people to the Afro-Brazilian Lusophony University. The test would have taken place this week. The univ. was offering 120 places to qualifying students https://t.co/u0YpKEzfgf