Brazilian Finance Minister Joaquim Levy hinted strongly, in an interview published Friday, that he will soon resign. In an interview in Friday’s edition of the O Estado de São Paulo newspaper, Levy said, “Now that the congressional session is over, all of my options are open.” He offered a veiled criticism of the administration of President Dilma Rousseff, saying the President focused only on fiscal matters this year, neglecting broader reforms needed to make Brazil’s economy competitive. In what sounded like a valedictory note, Levy said, “I never focused just on the fiscal side, but stayed focused on reforms.” He was also critical of Congress for what he called its foot-dragging on both reforms and fiscal austerity measures. “The pathway for me now is inner peace,” he said. “I’m calm.” Rumors of Levy’s resignation re-surfaced this week when the administration agreed to reduce its 2016 primary budget surplus target to 0.5% of gross domestic product from the 0.7% advocated by Levy. Press reports Friday indicated that Levy could officialize his resignation before the end of the year. Possible replacements include Planning Minister Nelson Barbosa and Trade and Development Minister Armando Monteiro.
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