Bolsonaro defends the FAB’s cut in the purchase of freighters and nods to Embraer

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Bolsonaro defends the FAB’s cut in the purchase of freighters and nods to Embraer

President Jair Bolsonaro (no party) defended this Saturday (13) the decision of the Air Force to reduce the purchase of KC-390 military freighters from Embraer.

“I spoke with the commander of the FAB, Brigadier [Carlos de Almeida] Baptist. There is no way to buy all that. We have to have a fleet that we can keep operational,” stated Bolsonaro, during a visit to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.

The arm wrestling originated with the Air Force’s decision to cut from 28 to 15 the number of units of the freighter it intends to acquire, citing budget constraints.

Bolsonaro corroborated this justification, saying that public resources are limited.

“You can’t buy a plane like you buy a car, which you often put in the garage. The plane has to move, and that’s expensive. The Air Force’s budget is tight,” said the president.

According to him, contrary to what Embraer says, there is no breach of contract, but an attempt at an agreement. “We are not breaking the contract, we are seeking negotiations well in advance,” he declared.

Coincidentally, one of the highlights of Bolsonaro’s visit to Dubai is his participation in the opening of an air sector fair this Sunday (14), in which a visit to the Embraer stand is scheduled.

Perhaps for this reason, the president has tried to make several gestures towards the company, which was once state-owned and has a historic connection with the Air Force.

For Bolsonaro, it is rash to speak of an image crisis for the airline, which fears that the restriction of his own country’s air force in acquiring freighter units will impact business with other governments around the world.

“There is no image problem, Embraer is a powerhouse, a fantastic thing. Embraer is in several countries around the world, so there is no shortage of markets,” he stated.

He revealed that in the conversation he had this Saturday with the emir of Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, he expressed interest in acquiring some units of the freighter, although he did not say how many.

Some gestures by the president are also planned to honor the freighter and the company.

One idea was for Bolsonaro to land with the freighter in Dubai, but the plan did not go ahead, the president himself said. He did not explain the reasons for giving up.

Another action, which is still being maintained, is Bolsonaro’s parachute jumping from a freighter over Lake Paranoá, in Brasília. The president was from the Army’s paratrooper brigade. He said that there is no date for that yet, and that he is in “arm wrestling” with the Defense to be allowed to jump safely.

In an interview with journalists, Bolsonaro also defended the PEC (proposed amendment to the Constitution) of the Precatório, which defaults on judicial debts of the Union and circumvents the spending ceiling. The objective is to open up fiscal space to be able to pay the new Auxílio Brasil, a replacement program for Bolsa Família, of at least R$400.

“There is debt that dates back to the time of the Fernando Henrique government [1995-2002]. These debts suddenly accumulated the STF [Supremo Tribunal Federal] says Bolsonaro has to pay. It’s the people who pay. We cannot afford to pay R$90 billion next year, within the ceiling, because everything would stop in Brazil,” he declared.

He said all debts up to R$600,000 would be paid, and criticized left-wing parties for saying the decision would harm the elderly.

Bolsonaro also admitted that the amendment, already approved in the Chamber, has a more difficult path in the Senate. “It’s more difficult in the Senate. We work to approve it, the only vote I send there is Flávio’s [Bolsonaro, seu filho]”.

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