“Employment is the best social policy there is.” Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles loves this phrase. The architect of a series of austerity reforms that imposed harsh and unpopular measures on workers, Meirelles is now trying to capitalize on Brazil’s slow – but steady – economic recovery. A presidential hopeful, the minister is hoping to associate his image with rising employment rates.
While it’s not exactly a secret that Meirelles has his sights set on the 2018 presidential election, he has publicly avoided acknowledging himself as a candidate. But on Monday, Meirelles took a close step during an interview with Folha de S.Paulo.
Meirelles claimed that Michel Temer’s administration will have a candidate next year, “but it won’t be São Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin.” He said that Alckmin and his party, PSDB, lack commitment to the administration’s legacy. Given these bold statements, Meirelles might as well have said that he will be the new candidate.