The political planning of the Planalto — Brazilian presidency — for 2014 starts with two initial gambits.
The Planalto perceives the congressional inquiry in Petrobras as a joint effort of political players and media companies. It was clear yesterday — a palace source reports — that the evening newscast JornalNacional was preparing the way for paid primetime advertising by candidates Eduardo Campos and Marina Silva.
The JN stressed the falling market value of Petrobras as a point of entry for both paid messages.
At the Planalto, this tactic was viewed as irresponsible, given the company’s 60 years of service to Brazil, along with its contribution to the petrochemical sector and the petroliferous wealth of the pre-salt layer. The Libra field alone raised R$ 15 billion this year alone.
The second point of attack – according to sources inside the Planalto — will be to weaken Petrobras once again with a view to a future privatization.
Why place the spotlight on Petrobras rather than on the corruption scandal involving senior state government officials in São Paulo with the complicity of the state accounting tribunal.” [This is the question on everyone’s mind.]
In 2009 the [PT] government faced a CPI on the eve of elections. The same is true this year, but in this case there will be a counterattack in the following terms:
1. The CPI will have 20 allied members in the lower house. The opposition will fieldsix. The source says qualified experts will be assigned to the Petrobras and to a probe of cartel formation in the commuter rail system of São Paulo.
2. The source says jurisprudence exists that permits the joining together of two CPIs on different or related topics.
3. The CPI will also look into the cases of the Metrô de São Paulo subway — a debtor to BNDES and the World Bank –; the port of Suape, in Pernambuco; and finally Comgás, a bridge between the port and the Abreu Lima refinery.
The strategy will be to begin with the Metrô case, the case with the longest delay. And to summon former governor José Serra, current governor Geraldo Alckmin and other São Paulo politicians, such as Aloizio Nunes and José Aníbal.
The palace source said the majority of the government benches approved the tactics.
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