LatinNews Daily - 28 July 2022

In brief: Brazil’s Lula discusses spending plans

* The left-wing frontrunner for Brazil’s October presidential election, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-2011), has said that he would not spend money from the country’s foreign exchange reserves if he is elected. “I’m not planning on using that money,” Lula said, when questioned on calls from some within his leftist Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) to use Brazil’s US$343.71bn in international reserves to fund infrastructure projects. He also said that his government would not impose a spending cap, saying that these are only needed “if you are irresponsible”. The spending cap was enshrined in Brazil’s constitution in 2016 under former president Michel Temer (2016-2019), and repealing it would require three-fifths of legislators in both the lower chamber and the senate to twice vote in favour of a constitutional amendment. In a rare moment of agreement with his right-wing rival, President Jair Bolsonaro, Lula also criticised recent price hikes by Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petrobras, saying that he would aim to change the company’s pricing policy. He said that the linking of Petrobras’s prices to global market rates is aimed at “enriching shareholders to the detriment of 215m Brazilians.”

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