Bolsonaro replaces the Brazilian Minister of Energy after new increases in the price of diesel

The Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonarodispensed this Wednesday with the Minister of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerquein office since the beginning of his administration, after new increases in diesel by Petrobrasaccording to a publication in the official newspaper.

The decision was made “at the request” of the minister himself, according to the brief note signed by Bolsonarowho appointed in the portfolio Adolfo Sachsidauntil now advisor to the Ministry of Economy.

“The decision to leave the Ministry of Mines and Energy it was of a personal nature and taken at a meeting between him (Albuquerque) and the president, in a consensual way,” the ministry insisted in a statement sent to AFP, despite the fact that local media attributed the change to Bolsonaro.

In his first public demonstration as minister, Sachsida said Wednesday night that he will ask the government for studies to “destatize” the oil company Petrobraswithout elaborating on an idea that analysts say is unlikely in an election year.

Last Thursday, Bolsonaro attacked Petrobras again, assuring that its profits are “a violation”, shortly before excellent quarterly results were published.

The president asked Albuquerque and the new president of the company, Joseph Mauro Coelhothat fuel prices will not increase because the company’s profit is “abusive.”

However, the ministry has no direct influence on the decisions of the parastatal company, which is autonomous by law and responds to its institutional interests and those of its shareholders.

Petrobras announced on Monday a new increase in diesel, of 8.8%, to adjust to the international market.

The constant rises in fuel prices worry Bolsonaro, who will seek re-election in October.

April inflation, known this Wednesday, was again driven by this category, which rose 3.2% in the month —more than tripling the general index— and 33.24% in the last 12 months.

The president himself was the one who recommended Coelho as president of Petrobras, a former official of the ministry led by Albuquerque and considered one of his trusted men, after firing Joaquim Silva e Luna by the rises that directly impact the pockets of consumers.

Coelho assumed the leadership of Petrobras in April and assured that there would be no changes in its price policy, which follows the international price of crude oil, triggered in recent months by the war between Russia Y Ukraine.

The oil company, which controls the local market and has the State as the largest shareholder, reported a net profit of 44.561 million reais (8.605 million dollars) between January and March, which is about 38 times what was obtained in the first quarter of 2021.

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