Bolsonaro describes Petrobras
a ‘problem’ at G-20 conference
What is Bolsonaro’s biggest problem right now, Angela Merkel asked him at the G20 conference.
The embattled Brazilian president responded it was rising gas prices.- Bloomberg.
- Comments made in video published by news website UOL
- Petrobras share prices have plunged on Bolsonaro criticism
By Matthew Malinowski / Bloomberg
Petroleumworld 11 01 2021
Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro said Petroleo Brasileiro SA is a “problem,” according to a video published by news outlet UOL that follows his criticism of the state-controlled oil company’s profits and fuel prices.
“Petrobras is a problem,” Bolsonaro told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in comments recorded by UOL on the sidelines of the G-20 conference in Rome. “But we are breaking monopolies, with a very big reaction.”
Bolsonaro has repeatedly attacked Petrobras, as the company is commonly known, sometimes saying he wants to curb rising fuel prices and at other times saying it should be privatized. He intensified criticism on Thursday, saying the oil giant should not be too profitable. Its share prices plunged the next day despite reporting record revenues and declining debt.
The president, who is up for re-election next year, has seen his approval plummet due to factors including surging inflation. On Friday, Brazilian states decided to freeze the ICMS tax charged on fuel sales for 90 days, according to an Economy Ministry statement.
In the video on Saturday, Bolsonaro, who was next to Economy Minister Paulo Guedes, said he enjoys “tremendous popular support” and has a good team of ministers. Brazil’s economy is gaining strength, he added.