UPDATE 1-Brazil recovery on track despite political turmoil - top Temer aide

jueves 2 de junio de 2016 12:23 GYT
 

(Adds comments on reforms, background)

By Anthony Boadle and Lisandra Paraguassu

BRASILIA, June 2 (Reuters) - Interim President Michel Temer's efforts to bring Brazil out of its worst economic recession since the 1930s are going ahead as planned despite the loss of two ministers to a corruption scandal, his chief of staff said on Thursday.

Presidential chief of staff Eliseu Padilha said in an interview that the government enjoys a solid two-thirds majority in both chambers of Congress to push through legislation needed to plug the record deficit it inherited 20 days ago from suspended President Dilma Rousseff.

Padilha said the Temer government is very confident the Senate will vote to convict Rousseff for breaking budget laws in an impeachment trial, and it hopes this will happen as quickly as possible to remove any doubt about Temer's legitimacy.

"The government will then have more political authority to act," Padilha said. He hoped the vote could come as soon as the end of July, before Brazil's holds the Olympic Games in August.

"I am not worried about the impeachment vote, but we have to work hard to make sure the economy starts to grow again, which appears to be the case," Padilha said. The Temer plan to revive the economy includes a ceiling on public spending, a reduced role for the state and more room for private investment.

Latin America's largest economy shrank for a fifth straight quarter in early 2016 as political turmoil and the sweeping corruption scandal centered on Petrobras weighed on activity. Gross domestic product fell 5.4 percent from a year earlier and unemployment has hit 11.2 percent.

Within the space of one week, Temer had to drop Planning Minister Romero Juca, a key figure in getting austerity measures approved by Congress, and the minister in charge of fighting corruption, Fabiano Silveira, after leaked recordings suggested they had tried to derail the Petrobras investigation.   Continuación...