Brazilian President Michel Temer met Thursday with key congressional leaders, who signaled their support for a compromise version of a stiff government proposal to reform the nation’s bankrupt pension system. Following the meeting, Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said administration officials and top congressional leaders have agreed “to vote on pension reform as soon as possible.” Press reports said a vote could come in early December. Meirelles said, “pension reform is no longer a matter of opinion; it’s a matter of urgent necessity.” Rising pension outlays and stagnant revenues mean pension costs are eating up more and more of the federal government’s budget. The Temer administration has proposed a reform that would postpone retirement and reduce benefits for many workers. Meirelles said the administration will work out details of a compromise version of the original reform “in the coming days.” Congressional leaders have argued that a watered-down version of the bill is necessary to garner popular support.
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