Lula’s “nocturnal government”: expanded the tax ceiling, announced that there will be no more privatizations and the corruption fantasy grows

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will take office next January 1 (REUTERS/Carla Carniel)
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will take office next January 1 (REUTERS/Carla Carniel)

Mientras los brasileños están distraisão con los últimos preparativos navideños, el Presidente electo Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva ha asestado en los ultimos días una serie de golpes decisivos para su estrategia de gobierno. Wednesday, un nuevo texto de la Propuesta de Amendment Constitucional (PEC) para ampliar el roofo de gastos It was approved in the Chamber of Deputies, but only for a year and with an inferior value to the previous vote in the Senate, that is, 169.1 billion reales, 33 billion dollars, or about 200 billion dollars. million reales (39 billion dollars).

Sin embargo, the recent, rapid and unexpected decision of the Minister of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) Gilmar Mendes, according to which the necessary figure for the subsidy Bolsa Familia (ex Auxilio Brasil) puede garantiarse mediate créditos extraordinarios al margen de las limitaciones del roofo de gasto, podría aumentar la cuenta en caso de que el gobierno de Lula decides to resort to this estratagema para gastar más dinero. In addition, the PEC approved in the Chamber of Deputies prevé en su article 6 the revocation of the tax ceiling. En cambio, the new Government will introduce a new fiscal rule in 2023, so that the economic situation is corre el riesgo de irse de las manos.

En esta carrera hacia los gastos el Congreso también tuvo tiempo de aprobar un criticado aumento salary del 37% al 50% para parlamentarios, the ministers and the president are included. A esto hay que adder 37 nuevos ministerios frente a los 23 actuales. Lula also announced algunos de los nuevos ministros. Además de su fiel Fernando Haddadya nombrado en los ultimos días titular de Economía, fueron elegidos Esther Dweck to lead the recently created Ministry of Management y el vice presidente Geraldo Alckmin, como ministero de Desarrollo, Industria y Comercio. However, sigue faltando el nombre del ministro de Planificación. Among the favorites is the figure of Jorge Ney Viana Macedo Neves, forest engineer and former governor of the state of Acre for the Partido de los Trabajadores (PT).

The theoretical baggage of Dweck is the controvertida Teoría Monetaria Moderna que aboga por políticas fiscales expansivas y para la cual ni la deuda ni la inflation son un problema. Alckmin, por su parte, llega tras el chazo de Josué Gomes da Silva, hijo del ex vicepresidente de Lula José Alencar y actual presidente de la Federación de Industrias del Estado de San Pablo (FIESP), y de Pedro Wongtschowski, presidente del consejo de administración del grupo Ultrapar. In reality, Lula’s government has received several negatives. Neither Persio Arida nor Lara Resende, famous economists who participated in the transition government and supported the new president from the electoral campaign, accepted Lula’s invitation to the economic ministries. Muchos se preguntan si detrás de esta negación se esconde el miedo de participar a una gestion económica poco orthodoxa.

sin duda it didn’t help the image of the new government that many of these changes were decided at the last hour and even at night, until the point that some Brazilian journalists called it “night government”. PEC and the decision of Gilmar Mendes apart, it was the night when the new government gave its major coup, a saber, the approval by the Congress of a transformation of the Law of State Companies that would benefit Lula and allow Aloízio Mercadante to become president of the National Bank of Economic and Social Development (BNDES). Mercadante was Minister of Education and Civil Affairs during the government of Dilma Rousseff, accused of influence peddling and obstruction of justice for Operation Lava Jato. Estos cargoes contra él fueron retiredos posteriormente.

The future Minister of Economy of Brazil, Fernando Haddad (REUTERS)
The future Minister of Economy of Brazil, Fernando Haddad (REUTERS)

The modification of the law could become an avalanche of political indications to cover 587 cargoes. Por eso el mercado no reaccionó positively. Desde la elección de Lula, the three principal state companies, Petrobras, Banco do Brasil and Caixa Seguridade, have lost 130 billion reales of market value, unos 25 billion dollars. Los inversores han interpreted este coup de mano del nuevo Gobierno de la noche la mañana como una intención de interferir en la gestion de empresas publicas, o de capital mixto como Petrobras, objeto de un programa de privatizaciones durante el Gobierno de Bolsonaro.

“The main objective of the law of public companies is to avoid corruption and the use of companies as an exchange of favors,” explained Infobae. Luiz Alberto Nunes Junior, founder and CEO of Forpus Capital. Al suspender esta ley o derogarla, volvemos a una época en la que cesó la transparency y las empresas ya no buscaban la efficiency, sino que eran simples peones en un tablero de ajedrez político. Aún no sabemos si volverá a ser así, pero sin duda esta possibility se plantea de nuevo”.

The Law of State Companies, la 13.303 of 2016, also known as the Law of Responsibility of State Companies, was approved during the interim presidency Michel Temer fear of impeachment Dilma Rousseff para frenar la corruption rampante en las empresas publicas que tuvo al PT como uno de los principales protagonistas politicos. The most famous case is still the Mensalão, which was exploited in the first government of Lula (2002-2006), a gigantic scheme of buying political support with public funds. And then from the first government of Dilma Rousseff, (2010-2014) the Petrolão, the corruption scandal of the PT despotado por la Lava Jato. Pero bajo la lupa de los investigators acabaron otras empresas estatales, como Correios, Caixa Económica, Banco do Brasil y muchas otras.

Por su parte, The BNDES has financed numerous controversial projects in Africa and Latin America, a black box of Brazilian and international political corruption. que ahora corre el risego de volver al ataque a través de nuevas financiaciones. The Secretary of Energy of Argentina, Flavia Royón, recently announced that the BNDES will provide 689 million reales (134 million dollars) for the construction of the remaining 500 km of the Néstor Kirchner gas pipeline from the Vaca Muerta region. hasta Santa Fé. Una financing que fue autorizada por el gobierno de Bolsonaro y que ahora Alberto Fernández hopes to unblock Lula.

Este nuevo enfoque politico de la economia corre el riesgo de salir caro para los bolsillos de los brasileños. “Si se vuelve a una gestioni que ya no se centra más en la eficiencia”, explained Nunes to Infobae, “normalmente se distortiona la politica de precios. This means that the system of competition is not functional, and the price will be paid by citizens in terms of dividend reduction, macroeconomic distortions, taxes and inflation.

The debate on the modification of law 13.303 in the Senate has been postponed until the next year, but by means of a legal argument the appointment of Mercadante is still safe, so that five directors of the new BNDES, all from the financial world, have been elected. . Esta elección fue vista por algunos medios de comunicación brasileños como un intento para calmar al mercado mantenniendo la influencia del partido. This is the case, for example, of Alexandre Abreu, responsible of the Banco do Brasil between 2015 and 2016 in the government of Dilma Rousseff, who ended up with her impeachment and the worst recession in Brazilian history, and of Nelson Barbosa, former Minister of Economy de la misma Dilma.

Sin embargo, se plantea una importante cuistão ética, a saber, el riesgo de que la corruption vuelva a pasar por el Estado, como ha denunciado el presidente del Instituto No Acepto la Corrupción, el fiscal de San Pablo Roberto Livianu. “We demand that the Senate cancel this decision”, declared Livianu to the Brazilian press, “una modificación que sólo sirve para satisfier interes opportunistas que van en contra del interes público”.

En el fundo también pesa el cambio de visión sobre las privatizaciones de las empresas estatales con respecte al gobierno Bolsonaro del nuevo ejecutivo que entrará en funcio el próximo de enero. “En este país se acabarán las privatizaciones”, declared President-elect Lula, adding that “los extranjeros son bienvenidos, pero no para comprar nuestras empresas estatales”. And so, at least six of them will be withdrawn from the list of privatizations, including the port of Santos, leaving open many questions about how the program of public-private collaboration that defies Minister of Economy Haddad will really function.

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