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Economy Minister Paulo Guedes’ much-awaited visit to the House’s Constitution and Justice Committee was a defeat from all angles. It once again exposed the government’s lack of political savvy, which allowed opposition congressmen to dominate the hearing and make a punching bag out of Mr. Guedes for the first three hours. The stock market and the Brazilian Real closed the day on a down.
Beyond opposition maneuvers, Mr. Guedes made a lot of mistakes of his own. He presented few technical arguments—leading to accusations that not even he was capable of defending the reform. Plus, his explosive temperament led him to take the bait of several provocative congressmen, including a shouting match with a congressman who called him a “sweetheart”—which led to the abrupt ending of the hearing.
Centrist parties rejoiced at the government’s