In one of her strongest endorsements to date, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Monday said Finance Minister Joaquim Levy “is staying right where he is.” She said rumors that Levy would quit, or be fired, were “harmful” and should cease being aired by reporters. She called Levy “a dedicated public servant.” Press reports in recent days have indicated strong opposition to Levy from former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, often seen as Rousseff’s mentor. Rousseff said on Monday, “I respect former President Lula’s opinion but I do not always agree with it.” Levy has suffered pressure from many, inside and outside of government, for failure to end government deficits. Other problems in the economy include 10% inflation, sky high interest rates, negative growth and rising unemployment. According to press reports, former President Lula is pushing for his own former Central Bank President, Henrique Meirelles, to be appointed Finance Minister. Last week, Meirelles denied that any “concrete invitation” had been made to him in relation to the post.
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