Brazil’s Minister of Finance, Antônio Palocci, said on Friday, August 5, that the government does not need to take steps to “shield” the economy from the political crisis.
Palocci made this comment after an afternoon meeting called by President Lula with ministers and entrepreneurs from the productive, financial, and commercial sectors.
“We are not in need of measures to shield the economy. What protects the economy are the results of the trade balance, of current transactions, of fiscal accounts, and the stability of inflation.
“Even in a period of difficulties in the political sphere, these elements are producing an improvement in the economic indicators,” the Minister observed.
When asked whether the government would approve the suggestion of raising the primary surplus, as was proposed Friday morning by entrepreneurial confederations, Palocci said: “It’s a good debate, isn’t it?”
The other ministers, besides Palocci, who attended the meeting called by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to discuss economic matters were Luiz Fernando Furlan, of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade; Luiz Marinho, of Labor and Employment; Sérgio Rezende, of Science and Technology; and Jaques Wagner, of the Secretariat of Institutional Relations, as well as the president of the Central Bank, Henrique Meirelles.
More than 20 entrepreneurs were present, including Jorge Gerdau, of the Gerdau Group; Paulo Skaf, president of the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp); Abílio Diniz, of the Pão de Açúcar (“Sugarloaf”) Group; Deputy Armando Monteiro Neto (PTB-Pernambuco), president of the National Confederation of Industry (CNI); and Márcio Artur Laurelli Cypriano, president of the Bradesco bank.
The entrepreneurs handed President Lula a proposal entitled a “Minimum Agenda for Governability,” prepared by the CNI’s National Industrial Forum.
In the document the entrepreneurial confederations that represent industry (CNI), agriculture (CNA), financial institutions (CNF), commerce (CNC), and transportation (CNT), together with the Entrepreneurial Action organization, stress the importance of economic stability and underscore the need for “a more systematic and ambitious effort to establish conditions for a reduction in real interest rates.”