Brazil’s Fallen Finance Minister Talks About Meanness Against Him

Brazil’s Ministry of Finance released the entire text of the resignation letter that former minister, Antônio Palocci, sent, Monday, March 27, to Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

In Palocci’s words, "remaining in the Administration at this moment of exacerbated political conflict, when I am the object of all kinds of meanness and accusations, will not contribute any longer to the progress of Your Excellency’s efforts, nor will it serve the greater interests of Brazil."

In his letter Palocci denied any involvement, "either by command or on the operational level, with the violation of anyone’s banking privacy."

Although the president of the Federal Savings Bank, Jorge Mattoso, said in his testimony to the Federal Police that he gave Palocci a bank statement from the account of the caretaker, Francelino dos Santos Costa, the former minister reaffirms that he did not release nor did he authorize the release of confidential information.

"I am cognizant of the laws and the responsibility that comes with my office. I am cognizant of the rules of democracy and of a government ruled by law," the minister states.

He refers to "a systematic movement," beginning last August, "to cast doubt and suspicion on my labor and my character." And he affirms that throughout the end of 2005 he attempted to clear up the doubts spurred by the accusations, both in interviews with the press and hearings in the National Congress.

"At the beginning of this year, I appeared before the parliamentary investigatory commission in the Federal Senate, before even being summoned, to give an ample and direct explanation of all these matters.

"I thought that, at the time, I had refuted objectively all the inconsistencies accompanying the accusations and recovered my ability to work in this ministry. Nevertheless, Mr. President, the political battle has become more intense in recent weeks, and matters that were already settled reared their heads again," the minister says in his letter.

Palocci ends the text by mentioning the progress achieved in the economic sphere as a result of policies he put into effect beginning in 2003, and he wagers that the economy will not be affected by his resignation.

"I am proud to have collaborated in the implementation of Your Excellency’s successful economic policy, which has contributed so much to the stability of our economy, with clear rewards for the poorest segments of our population.

"The definitive control of inflation, the record figures in job creation and the evolution of credit, the competent management of the public debt, and, most of all, the spectacular performance of the country’s external accounts represent victories to which many Brazilian Administrations contributed and which your Administration consolidated.

"I am extremely pleased to have helped achieve these results. Brazil is stronger, better prepared, and more mature to move forward, under Your Excellency’s leadership, following this policy on its way to economic and social development."

Agência Brasil

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