Guedes Provokes Instability with Talk of Dollar and Dictatorship Decree

Currency beats record, affects interest rates and minister criticized by heads of legislature and judiciary

Brasília, Washington and São Paulo

Paulo Guedes' comments on the possibility of implementing a dictatorship-era decree provoked strong institutional and economic reactions.

On Monday (25), in Washington, the economic minister commented on the wave of protests in Latin American countries. Guedes called the idea of former President Lula summoning demonstrations, "insanity."

Brazil's Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, speaks during a press conference at the Embassy of Brazil in Washington, DC on November 25, 2019. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) - AFP

"Don't be alarmed if someone orders the AI-5," he concluded. AI-5 was a dictatorship-era measure decreed by the 1964-1985 military dictatorship to close Congress and suppress dissent.

He also predicted a bullish dollar. On Tuesday, the US currency registered a nominal value of R $ 4,241, a new nominal record. The market also reviewed the largest amount of interest in 2020.

Analysts believe the minister calculates the impact of policies and causes political instability. The risk of protest in Brazil attracts distrust and further inhibits long-term investment, such as infrastructure.

Guedes was also criticized by Rodrigo Maia (DEM-RJ), president of Congress, and Dias Toffoli, of the Supreme Court. The deputy questioned why the government kept referring to the AI-5. Jair Bolsonaro declined to comment on the case.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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