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Brazil's Former Minister Says He Was Pressured by President Temer

11/25/2016 - 06h33

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NATUZA NERY
PAULO GAMA
FROM BRASÍLIA

Brazil's former minister of Culture, Marcelo Calero, told the Federal Police that President Michel Temer (PMDB) pressured him to find a "solution" for an objected apartment of Government Secretary Geddel Vieira Lima.

Last week Folha disclosed that Calero resigned stating that Lima asked him to cancel a decision by Iphan, Brazil's National Historic and Artistic Heritage Institute, which vetoed the building in Salvador, Bahia, where Lima has an apartment.

Former minister Calero said that he was called by Temer on Thursday, November 17, to attend a meeting at the Planalto Palace, the official workplace of the President of Brazil.

Calero said Temer told him that Iphan's decision had created "operational difficulties" in his cabinet, as Geddel was unhappy with the decision, and asked him to find a solution along with the Federal Attorney's Office.

Calero stated that Temer also said: "These things are common in politics, this kind of pressure."

The transcription of Calero's statement was sent to Brazil's Supreme Court and to the Attorney General's Office.

Minister Geddel Vieira Lima, of the PMDB, is being investigated by the Ethics Commission of the Presidency as he is accused of using his position to gain personal benefits. Lima denies the accusation.

Temer admitted having talked with Calero twice on the divergences with Lima. However, he denied pressuring Calero to cancel the block on Lima's property.

Temer also said he suggested a judicial opinion from the Federal Attorney's Office.

The president of the House of Representatives, Rodrigo Maia (DEM-RJ), said that the former minister of Culture has gone crazy. Opposing parties began to defend the impeachment of President Temer.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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