President Jair Bolsonaro has slammed an expected increase in domestic fuel prices by Petroleo Brasileiro SA, saying the state-owned oil producer made inflated profits during the crisis, disregarding Brazil’s “public interest”.
“Petrobras could throw Brazil into chaos,” Bolsonaro said in a Twitter post early Friday, referring to the oil giant. “Its managing director, administrators and board members know very well what happened when the truckers went on strike in 2018, with the harmful consequences for the Brazilian economy and the lives of our people. .”
A nationwide truck stop like the one that crippled Brazil under the Michel Temer administration is a nightmare scenario for Bolsonaro, who trails former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in opinion polls by less than four months. before the elections. According to polls, a growing number of Brazilians are already blaming the incumbent president for the country’s economic problems.
During a live social media broadcast on Thursday, Bolsonaro said any increase in fuel prices at this time would be politically motivated and that he expected Petrobras to postpone a decision until next week, when the Congress is expected to vote on a series of proposals to lower or eliminate fuel taxes. He also said the government was trying to replace the company’s chief executive and some board members by the end of next week.
– O Federal Governor as acionista é contra qualquer readjusts our fuels, não só pelo exagerado lucro da Petrobrás em plena mundial crisis, bem como pelo pelo interesse public forecast na Lei das Estatais.
— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) June 17, 2022
Bolsonaro’s allies echoed his fury. Lower house speaker Arthur Lira said he would meet with party leaders on Monday to discuss the issue. Lawmakers are considering reassessing Petrobras’ pricing policy, raising taxes on its profits and even launching a congressional investigation into its board members, according to the O Globo newspaper.
Petrobras appears ready to “bomb” the country with yet another fuel price increase, Lira wrote in a post on Twitter, comparing the oil company to an “independent country at war with Brazil”.
A República Federativa da Petrobras, um país independent e em declarado estado de guerra em relação ao Brasil e ao povo brasileiro, parece ter anunciado o bombardeio de um novo aumento nos combustíveis.
— Arthur Lira (@ArthurLira_) June 16, 2022