The silence of Minister Paulo Guedes (Economy) in the case involving the departure of Roberto Castello Branco from the command of Petrobras, which melted the company’s shares, can also be understood by the fact that Posto-Ipiranga does not want to suffer new casualties.
At the Palácio do Planalto, the name of the special secretary of Finance, Waldery Rodrigues, began to circulate in the Guedes team.
In September last year, Bolsonaro even gave a “red card” when the secretary announced proposals that foresaw restrictions on social benefits. At the time, the president was extremely irritated by Guedes’ assistant.
The minister, however, managed to reverse and quell the president’s discomfort.
Now, according to the president’s aides, Bolsonaro’s irritation is in the delay of the economic team in presenting solutions to the president’s promises, such as zeroing the federal diesel tax. Even the account on the final value of the emergency aid cannot be closed.
Precisely for this reason, Bolsonaro again said that “Guedes’ people” need to be more agile to meet the government’s wishes.
In addition to Waldery, another member of the Guedes team that is targeted by Bolsonaro is the Federal Budget Secretary, George Soares, who has been resistant to changes that mean fiscal maneuvers.
In addition to casualties among Guedes’ secretaries, at Planalto Palace it is also taken for granted that the president of Banco do Brasil, André Brandão, will be one of the next to leave the government. The question is no longer “if” it will happen, but “when”.
Castello Branco and André Beltrão were names chosen by Guedes to compose the government. Their departure is a blow to the already suffering liberal agenda of the Minister of Economy, which has been sacrificed in the midst of a hard and difficult public health crisis: the pandemic.
Guedes and other aides to President Jair Bolsonaro try to sensitize the president that further changes would not be prudent in the face of market turbulence. They ask the president to be cautious about further changes. Meanwhile, Bolsonaro continues with public threats and says that “next week we will have more”.
The point is that just as Castello Branco angered Bolsonaro, Brandão is also not among the darlings. On the contrary, the announcement of a bank overhaul made the president demonstrate his discomfort with the executive to the point of “asking for his head”.
On that occasion, Guedes managed to hold off the resignation. Now, even in the Ministry of Economy, there are those who admit that it will be difficult to keep Brandão for a long time.
Criticisms of Guedes’ difficulty in imposing his agenda have found an echo in former secretaries, who left the government.
In an interview with the newspaper O Estado de São Paulo this weekend, the former Secretary of Privatization and Privatization of the Ministry of Economy, Salim Mattar, criticized the interference in Petrobras and said that Guedes “was beaten”.
“Minister Guedes is resilient, obstinate and determined, but he did not realize that he was defeated,” said Mattar.
Already in an interview with Folha, the ex-bureaucratization secretary, Paulo Uebel, said that those who voted for Bolsonaro “because the liberal agenda was one of the pillars of the government program are concerned that this agenda is being abandoned”.