Bolsonaro keeps domestic agenda in mind while in Rome for G20 Summit
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro was harshly critical Saturday of the recent Brazilian Stock Exchange movements and said he had a Plan B in case the Lower House does not agree on budget proposals recently put forward by the Executive.
“I am a parachutist, I always have a spare parachute with me,” he declared. “Those who reason and have intelligence always have a plan B,” he added, without specifying what his alternative was.
Bolsonaro made those remarks in front of the Brazilian Embassy in Rome, where he is attending the G20 Summit.
The head of state was referring to budget adjustments put forward by his administration to increase subsisides and social aid to families and groups who have lost their sources of income due to restrictivbe measures imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But voting on these issues has been postponed time and again by the Legislature. Even if it manages to get through the House of Deputies, it is unclear whether the budget bill would make it through the Senate. Hence Bolsonaro’s need for an alternative plan.
“Brazil did its homework [during the pandemic], spared no effort to assist those most in need,” Bolsonaro told his G20 colleagues. And now the goal is “to invest in the recovery of the economy.”
The president insisted investors needed to understand that if the country is bad, they [the investors] will be bad too.”
Also at the G20, Bolsonaro called on world leaders for “additional efforts” in the production of COVID-19 vaccines, although he insisted he would not be taking any drug. He has also been accused of spreading fake news about the disease and its possible treatments.
For Brazil, the efforts of the G20 should be focused on combating the current pandemic, which continues to devastate many countries. We believe, therefore, that it is up to the G20 to make additional efforts to produce vaccines, medicines and treatments in developing countries, Bolsonaro pointed out.
However, Bolsonaro has since the beginning of the pandemic criticized COVID-19 vaccination, in addition to promoting large gatherings, rejecting the use of face masks and recommending drugs not endorsed by the World Health Organization to treat the disease.
Also Saturday, Bolsonaro held an informal talk with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during which the South American leader claimed he had a very large popular support back at his home country, which -as Brazilian media were quick to point out- did not match recent opinion polls.
Bolsonaro also told Erdogan through a translator that the state-run oil company Petrobras was a problem. He also pointed out he was under permanent attack from the press and underlined that his country’s economy was “coming back pretty strong.”
According to a PoderData opinion poll released last week, rejection of the Bolsonaro government is at 58%, while DataFolha rated it at 53% in September. In both polls, support for Bolsonaro is only 20% of the population.