Brazil’s Finance Minister Stays and Policy Remains the Same, Announces Lula

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva declared that he was satisfied with this weekend’s press conference by Minister of Finance, Antonio Palocci.

The Minister responded to accusations by a former aide, Rogerio Buratti, that he (Palocci) had received monthly kickbacks of US$ 20,000 from a company with a garbage collection contract in the city of Ribeirão Preto where Palocci was mayor from 2000 to 2002 (when he left to join the Lula administration).

Lula, speaking to the nation during his fortnightly radio program, “Breakfast with the President,” said he thought Palocci was innocent and that he would continue to be Minister of Finance and that the government’s economic policy would not undergo any changes.

“Palocci showed the self-assurance of someone who is innocent. And he made it clear that the Brazilian economy is not going to be affected by these accusations.

“I think Palocci gave the answers the country needs to hear. He showed the calmness of a strong helmsman who knows how to steer the boat of state,” declared Lula.

The President went on to say that the government, its prosecutors and the Federal Police are investigating all charges of corruption.

“We will do everything to facilitate the investigations while we manage the day-to-day operations of the government. Brazil cannot stop,” said the President.



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