Culture&Arts

Brazilian Shares, Real Plunge After Report President Encouraged Bribes

Brazilian Shares, Real Plunge After Report President Encouraged Bribes

The prominent daily newspaper O Globo reported on Wednesday that a meat producer had recorded the President giving the go-ahead to bribe Cunha to "keep quiet" while he was in jail.

Protests were planned in several cities, and opposition politicians took to Twitter and news outlets to call for Temer to resign or be impeached, arguing that his government no longer had legitimacy.

"With allegations as serious as these, President Michel Temer should consider resigning out of respect to the extraordinary efforts and recent achievements of Brazil's historical fight against corruption", said Transparency International Chair José Ugaz. Prominent leaders of Temer's centrist PMDB party also distanced themselves from him, leaving the unpopular leader looking more and more isolated. This year's carry-trade gains from going long the Brazilian real and short the USA dollar are nearing zero after reaching 8.7 per cent on Tuesday.

Brazil's highest court opened an investigation into President Michel Temer on Thursday, after one of the country's biggest newspapers accused him of paying a former Senate colleague hush money.

Mr. Temer has denied wrongdoing.

The O Globo newspaper reported on Wednesday night that Temer met in March with Joesley Batista, chairman of meat company JBS SA (JBSS3.SA), which grew rapidly under 13 years of leftist Workers Party rule due largely to low-priced loans from Brazil's national development bank. Brazilian federal police are searching the office and homes of Neves, a top senator and presidential contender.

Still, concerns about a new political scandal - and the toppling of another president less than a year after the impeachment of former President Dilma Rousseff - shook Brazil's economy Thursday.




A statement from Temer's office confirmed that the president did meet with Batista in March but denied soliciting a bribe.

"There is no agreeing with payments for Eduardo Cunha", Marcio de Freitas, a spokesman for Temer said of the tape. Temer's unconcern, nearly complete concordance with what was being said was chilling.

The scandal has engulfed Brazilian politics, with a third of Mr Temer's cabinet under investigation for alleged corruption.

This latest political crisis caused stock prices to plunge - and trading to be temporarily halted at the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange.

Temer's administration has been embroiled in corruption scandals since being installed in power previous year, but the Batista tape is perhaps the strongest blow to the stability of the government yet, plunging the already highly unpopular executive deeper into crisis. EARLY ELECTIONS Temer's opponents, led by Rousseff's Workers Party which was ousted with her impeachment after 13 years in power, are calling for early elections to replace Temer, whom they accuse of conspiring to replace Rousseff when he was her vice president. Since launching three years ago, the "Car Wash" probe into billions of dollars in kickbacks has put several top businessmen and politicians in jail. Both chambers of Congress cancelled sessions and Mr Temer's office axed his planned activities. Temer's approval ratings are hovering around 10 percent.

If the allegations are proven true, "President Temer is unlikely to finish his term", Eurasia wrote, adding that at the very least the matter will delay major reforms Temer is proposing.


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