Bolsonaro's crude move: What's behind shake-up at Brazil state oil company?

THE DEBATE
THE DEBATE © FRANCE 24

Could it be a turning point for Covid-stricken Brazil and its populist president? Investors are taking fright after Jair Bolsonaro's reversal on fuel hikes and the ouster of the market-friendly boss of state oil giant Petrobras. Roberto Castello Branco has been replaced with a more pliant reserve army general, much to the delight of the truckers' union which backs Bolsonaro.

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Up to now, the president had been resisting calls to loosen the purse strings for lower income families left reeling by the pandemic. Will the shakeup signal a U-turn in a nation that's damned if it spends – it is already bleeding red ink – and damned if it does not?   

Whatever way our panel sees it, once again we are back to talking about Petrobras, a cash cow during the BRICS economic surge-turned-symbol of the corruption that brought down the left and led to the election of a Trump admiring far-right leader. Which way now for Brazil?

Produced by Freddie Gower, Juliette Laurain and Imen Mellaz.

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