Parliamentarians talk about ‘framing’ Campos Neto after meeting with Lula; Padilha denies frying

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Parliamentarians talk about ‘framing’ Campos Neto after meeting with Lula;  Padilha denies frying

Parliamentarians from the allied base left the meeting with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) this Wednesday (8) with a speech aligned with that of the representative in relation to the criticism of the Central Bank due to the interest rate.

The Minister of Institutional Relations, Alexandre Padilha, in turn, put a damper on the crisis and said that there is no need to fry directors of the monetary authority.

“There is no government initiative on changing the law [da autonomia] of the Central Bank and no pressure on any director’s tenure. The law clearly establishes that it has mandates and that they will be fulfilled,” he told reporters.

Questioned about what response the government expects from the senators, as Lula demanded the day before, Padilha said that there is a law and it has to be “followed, accompanied and fulfilled by all”. The Senate is responsible for appointing and supervising the actions of the monetary authority’s directors.

Grassroots leaders, however, adopted a different tone after the meeting with the PT at the Planalto Palace and stated that the movement to force the BC president, Roberto Campos Neto, to go to Congress to provide explanations gained muscle, which should incite the feelings between Lula and the financial institution.

The president of Solidariedade, Paulinho da Força, said that Neto “has to be framed” and that “several” members of the base supported the president’s movement to “confront this Central Bank economic policy”.

“What I’m saying is that the president of the Central Bank is a representative of Faria Lima and is playing along with Faria Lima to the detriment of the country,” he said, referring to the avenue in São Paulo that concentrates investment banks.

Paulinho stated that what disturbs the economy is the high interest rate, and not the statements about the work of the monetary authority. “The Central Bank cannot be the Vatican, which is inside Italy but who is in charge is the Pope”, he stated.

According to the party president, “at least” eight members of the meeting endorsed Lula’s criticisms of the Central Bank, they the head of the PT, deputy Gleisi Hoffmann (PT-PR).

Other parliamentarians preferred to speak with reserve on the subject, but also admitted that the invitation for Neto to go to the Legislative must be approved and that, if he refuses to attend, he can be summoned, which makes his presence in the Legislative mandatory.

The forecast behind the scenes is that no later than the second week of March there will be a session for Neto to be heard by parliamentarians.

In recent days, Lula has been harshly criticizing the president of the Central Bank, Roberto Campos Neto. He said this week that the country’s current basic interest rate, the Selic, is a disgrace.

“There is no justification for the interest rate to be at 13.50% [ela está na verdade em 13,75%]. Just look at the letter from the Copom for us to know that this interest rate increase is shameful,” said Lula.

He has also classified the autonomy of the Central Bank as “nonsense”. “The problem is not an independent bank, it is not a bank linked to the government. The problem is that this country has a culture of living with high interest rates,” stated Lula.

“When the Central Bank depended on me, everyone complained. The only day Fiesp [federação da indústria paulista] spoke was when interest rates increased. It was the only day […]. Now, they don’t speak,” he said on Monday (6).

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