The president of Brazil, the far-right Jair Bolsonaro, affirmed this Thursday that he has a “desire” to privatize the oil company Petrobras, the largest company in the country, amid the criticism it has received for the sharp rise in fuel prices.
“I already want to privatize Petrobras, I want to. I am going to see with the economic team what we can do”, assured the president in an interview with the evangelical radio Novas da Paz.
The declaration comes at a time when the government has been criticized for the rise in fuel prices, especially gasoline, which rose almost 40 percent in the last 12 months.
“What happens is that I cannot better guide the price of fuel, but when it increases, the fault is mine. The gas increases, the fault is mine, despite the fact that I suspended the federal tax,” added the head of state.
The president’s sayings coincide with those of the Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, a liberal from the Chicago school who indicated that the Government is considering selling part of its controlling stake in the state oil company to finance social programs for families in conditions of vulnerability.
In power since January 2019, Bolsonaro was so far against the privatization of Petrobras, Brazil’s largest company, considering it “strategic” for the country.
However, seeing its popularity plummet amid the high costs of electricity, gas and fuel, which led Brazilian inflation to reach double digits in September, Bolsonaro now intends to privatize it and let the wind blow his words away.