Former Brazilian banker Meirelles said not to talk about joining Lula, but the door is wide open According to Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Brazil’s then Minister of Finance and Planning Henrique Meirelles is seen during a news conference in Sao Paulo Brazil February 21, 2019. REUTERS / Amanda Perobelli / File Photo

By Marcela Ayres

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Former Brazilian central banker Henrique Meirelles, who served under former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, said on Monday that he had not discussed joining the government if the leader Leftist leaders won a third term in elections in October.

“There’s nothing (on the table),” he told Reuters after endorsing Lula at a campaign event, stressing his strong relationship with him.

When asked if he would accept the final invitation, he said he would not “waste his time deciding on a hypothesis”, adding that in 2002 when Lula was first elected president, The proposal to run the central bank came only after the election.

Meirelles, who has developed a market-friendly track record at the central bank and ran for president himself in 2018, attended an event on Monday with other former candidates endorsing Lula . Lula leads right-wing incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in opinion polls.

The endorsement from Meirelles contributed to a good day for the Brazilian market, traders said, with the currency up 1.8% and the benchmark stock index up 2.3%.

“I gave a powerful speech precisely because I am a man in my career and in my life who believes in the truth. And both terms (Lula) are very positive for the country.” , he said, highlighting success in controlling inflation, creating jobs, cutting poverty and building foreign exchange reserves.

Meirelles said he was invited to the campaign event by Lula’s central rival, Geraldo Alckmin, who also took part in the event running economic policy during one of Lula’s last governments.

When asked if the presence of Alckmin, the former governor of São Paulo, on the ticket with Lula played any role in garnering Meirelles’ support, the former central banker said. helpful”, but he also stressed his own “wonderful relationship” with Lula.

The longest-serving central bank governor of Brazil (2003-2010), Meirelles is remembered for his role in managing the 2008 financial crisis and aggressively raising interest rates to combat inflation.

He also led the Treasury Department during former President Michel Temer’s 2016-2018 term, when he proposed two reforms seen as crucial to fiscal sustainability: constitutional and proportional spending limits. TLP for loans from the BNDES development bank, which pushed up the cost of state credit. closer to the market rate. Both have been criticized by some economists close to Lula.

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