Brazil’s Economy on the Verge of Collapse, says economy minister

Economy Minister Paulo Guedes. Photo: Leo Pinheiro Valor /Globo

HAVANA TIMES – The Brazilian economy is “beginning to collapse” due to Covid-19, Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said on Thursday.

Emergency measures against the pandemic cannot be maintained in the medium term, news portal UOL and other media quoted the minister as saying.

The economy may not be able to sustain “two or three months of protection,” Guedes said at a meeting with President Jair Bolsonaro, ministers, entrepreneurs and the Supreme Court president.

“We may have a collapse before that,” he added.

Bolsonaro criticized regional and local officials in some states who, he said, had “gone a bit far in imposing restrictive measures” of social isolation.

He said he would increase the number of economic activities which are regarded as essential and which can therefore function normally.

Guedes called on public sector workers to give up salary hikes for two years.

The Latin American country with the most Covid-19 cases, Brazil has recorded more than 125,000 novel coronavirus infections and over 8,500 deaths. The far-right president has been accused of putting the economy before people’s lives.