While en route to China for an official state visit, senate-imposed Brazilian president, Michel Temer, stopped in Lisbon, Portugal where the head of state lodged for a period 15-hours at the Ritz Four Seasons. Known as one of the most expensive hotels in Europe – daily rates during the high season can exceed $15,000 dollars – the luxurious layover couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time. In the month of July, Brazil had a record deficit that exceeded $5 billion dollars.
Fire Sale: Brazil’s Temer Government To Privatize 57 Firms
From January to July, Brazil accumulated a record primary deficit, calculated at approximately $16.2 billion dollars, according to the newspaper Brasil 24/7.
Also, incorporating a one year period ending in July, the country was in the red for over $53.7 billion dollars, the equivalent of 2.66 percent of the gross domestic product.
Apart from the country’s financial woes, robust austerity measures stripping workers of historical rights and an abysmal approval rating, Temer has also been implicated in a slew of corruption allegations.
The Temer government recently announced the decision to privatize 57 public companies, including 14 airports, 11 lots of electric transmission lines, 15 port terminals, two highways, and several public companies such as the mint, where the country’s tickets and passports are produced. According to the government, the neoliberal wave of privatization will raise around US$14 billion for the government to “reduce the bulging hole in the country’s public accounts.
Brazil’s presidential palace did not inform how much was spent on Temer and his entourage’s stay at the Ritz Four Seasons nor the reason for the stopover before proceeding to China.