Understanding Brazil’s new plan to overhaul the state

Economy Minister Paulo Guedes
Economy Minister Paulo Guedes. Photo: Marcello Casal Jr/ABr

“We want a state that provides us with healthcare, education, sanitation. Instead of having a state of authorities, we want a state of civil servants, that serve the citizens. The public machine cannot keep feeding itself.” This was the rationale presented by Brazil’s Economy Minister, Paulo Guedes, when unveiling his ambitious initiative to redesign the Brazilian state, in a bid to balance public accounts and reclaim investment-grade status.

The plan delivered to Congress by President Jair Bolsonaro included three proposals to amend the Constitution, while other developments—such as administrative and tax reform—are set to follow. The goal is to make...

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