general exposure and media perceptions
general exposure and media perceptions
In April, the media highlighted the negotiations and approval of the Social Security Reform in the Constitution & Justice Committee of the House of Representatives, which is the first step in the processing of the new rules for retirement.
The coverage focused on the government's difficulty in streamlining this first stage and on the session in which the Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, had a strong clash with opposition congressmen. In the fourth month of government, the media analyzed the first 100 days under President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration, who disclosed a new measures’ package to celebrate the date.
April was also marked by a more friendly relationship between the President and media that attended three breakfasts with him. The case involving Petrobras - readjustment on diesel’s price - and the repercussion of Banco do Brasil’s advertising piece removal were also highlights in the media, which addressed the possibility of the government intervening in the state company. The month was also marked by the disclosure of the first budgetary guidelines disclosed by the new administration.
The media gave special attention to the Social Security reform. The vehicles pointed the government’s difficulties in the political articulation of the matter, which resulted in a nearly one-month delay in the approval of the rules in the Constitution & Justice Committee of the House of Representatives.
The most sensitive point in the coverage occurred during the public hearing attended by the Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes. The session lasted nearly ten hours and, in the end, Guedes argued harshly with opposition congressmen, starting a wide repercussion focused on that.
A survey by Datafolha Institute was also addressed by the media, showing that 51% of Brazilians are against the Social Security Reform. However, this is the lowest rejection index to changes in the retirement rules ever recorded by the survey.
The 100 days of Bolsonaro's administration were also featured in the media, with some vehicles highlighting that their initial goals were not fully met, which challenges the official speech according to which all of them would have been met. The media also analyzed that the period was marked by some crises in the political arena and explained the new package of measures announced by the President on the day when the first 100 days of government were celebrated.
The media highlighted President Jair Bolsonaro's decision forcing Petrobras to suspend an increasing on diesel’s price as undue government intervention. The action of the President was compared to previous governments.
Vehicles also reported that the President's measure was a result of truckers unions’ pressure that threatened a new strike in Brazil, and there were also comparisons with what happened in the administration of the former President Michel Temer when truck drivers blocked roads for days, leading to economic chaos.
The press’ assessment to the risk of political intervention in state-owned companies was also highlighted at the end of April, when Bolsonaro ordered the removal of a Banco do Brasil’s advertising piece from the air by considering that, according to the media, it would go against his conservative values. The action of the President also resulted in the dismissal of one of the bank's directors.
The resignation of the Minister of Education, Ricardo Vélez Rodrigues, was also highlighted in the media. He was the second high-ranking government official to be fired by Jair Bolsonaro.
Vehicles explained that Vélez's dismissal was due to his poor management as head of the cabinet, but also to pressures from his political allies, particularly the writer Olavo de Carvalho.
The appointment of the new minister also had special attention from the media, which pointed out the choice of Abraham Weintrab as an option that keeps the ideological bias of the current administration.
The economic coverage highlighted the disclosure of the Budgetary Guidelines Law (LDO, in Portuguese). The law shows how the government foresees the economic scenario for the next four years and serves to prepare the budget.
Government's disclosure has shown that the economic team does not predicts increases in the minimum wage above inflation, also that the fiscal deficit will last until 2022 and that the growth rate should be between 2% and 3% during Bolsonaro’s management.
The anticrime package announced by the Minister of Justice Sérgio Moro in February was also closely addressed by the media last month. The coverage showed the opposition to the proposals of the former Lava-Jato judge in Congress, especially on the matters that tightened the fight against corruption.
A survey from Datafolha Institute, according to which most Brazilians were against most of the public safety measures announced by the Minister, also had a special place on the coverage. The press assessed the impact of the survey as negative for the package's debate in Congress.
what will be on the news in May
oil and gas
The major subject of the oil & gas sector in April was again the onerous transfer. Main newspapers reported that the government expects to raise BRL 106.5 billion on the next auction. The amount was officially disclosed during a meeting at National Council for Energy Policy (CNPE, in Portuguese), which approved the event to be held on October 28th.
The government also decided on the assumptions that will serve on the calculation of the financial compensation owed to Petrobras for investments made by the state company in onerous transfer areas. Companies that buy surplus volumes will figure as partners of the state company in the fields, in a co-participation agreement.
Despite the development in the auction guidelines, the media reported that the President of the House of Representatives, Rodrigo Maia, once again advocated that the final word concerning the onerous transfer should be given by the Congress. On the other hand, the bill to end with Petrobras' monopoly in the refining sector has moved forward. The oil company's board of directors approved in April the sale of eight of its 13 refineries.
Negotiations for the resumption of works at Angra 3 got new momentum after the announcement of meetings with foreign companies interested in partnerships to resume the project. These companies will suggest a corporate model for the plant’s completion.
In this context, Eletronuclear reported the plan to build a new plant in Itacuruba (Pernambuco), on the banks of São Francisco River. Pernambuco’s government said it was not aware of the study.
In April, the privatization of Eletrobras went out of the spotlight. According to Vice President Hamilton Mourão, the subject should be carried out "further on". On the other hand, Eletrobras was mentioned among the state companies that recorded a net income of BRL 13.3 billion in 2018.
The wind energy area was highlighted after the announcement of the Solatio Group's project for the construction of the Brazilian largest photovoltaic energy complex, which will require investments of BRL 3.5 billion. The project, which will be built in the city of São José do Belmonte (Pernambuco), will have an installed capacity of 1,100 MW.
Government Scenario is a monthly delivery, distributed exclusively to clients served by FSB Comunicação.
The most relevant subjects, their coverage on the media and the impact in public opinion are grouped in a qualitative manner.
The same applies to government messages/speeches that had an impact in society and, therefore, some kind of of reflection in the press.
Specific sections, such as 'oil and gas' and 'energy', are permanent and throughout the year may gain more or less space - depending on the share of space taken in the journalistic coverage.
Authors: Luciano Pires, Carlos Ferreira and Karina Hermesindo
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