Chancellor Carlos Alberto França denied on Wednesday (28) that there had been a reduction in the budget for the environmental inspection, which, according to his assessment, means that President Jair Bolsonaro (without a party) has not broken the pledge made at the leaders’ climate summit.
The Minister participated this morning in a public hearing organized by the Committee for Foreign Affairs and National Defense of the Chamber of Deputies. The purpose of the meeting was to address the priorities of Itamaraty this year, the same topic raised by former Chancellor Ernesto Araújo at the collegiate church on March 24, shortly before leaving government.
“The commitment stipulated by President Bolsonaro has been honored,” said the minister, in relation to the promise made by the president at the leaders’ climate summit last week. “I understand that this budget cut, in the face of our budget crisis, was being assessed, so that there would be no break, in my opinion, on this issue.”
Thursday (22), during the event convened by US President Joe Biden, Bolsonaro said he had determined the doubling of resources intended for environmental inspection actions in Brazil. According to the president’s interlocutors, it was estimated that the increase in resources for environmental inspection would be around 115 million reais.
“We have to recognize that this will be a complex task. Command and control measures are part of the response. Despite the government’s budgetary limits, I have determined the strengthening of environmental agencies, by doubling the resources allocated to inspection actions, ”said the representative.
Friday (23), a day after the virtual meeting, the Ministry of the Environment sent a letter to the Economy asking for an increase in the budget of the portfolio. The document demands an additional budget of 270 million reais for Ibama and ICMBio, federal inspection agencies.
The document states that the intention of the request is to divide the amount by 72 million reais for ICMBio and 198 million reais for Ibama. “The proposed complement complements the activities of inspection, prevention and fight against illegal deforestation and forest fires and environmental monitoring.”
During the public hearing, the Chancellor quoted a tweet from Congresswoman Carla Zambelli (PSL-SP) to stress that there had been no budget cuts in the inspection.
In a social network, the MP quoted Salles and said that the minister “had announced the doubling of funds, in the order of 270 million reais, for surveillance, inspection and prevention activities, in addition to fight against illegal deforestation and forest fires ”, as determined by Bolsonaro.
On Thursday, the same day as the climate summit, however, Bolsonaro sanctioned the 2021 budget with a few vetoes – the text was made official in the Federal Official Journal the next day. The increase promised by him at the international meeting is not on the agenda of the year and, in the act of sanction, the president cut nearly 240 million reais from the Environment portfolio. .
In addition to not appearing in the budget, the pledge to double the resources for environmental inspection will depend on a reduction in other areas to accommodate the additional resources, since the budget forecast is at the limit of the ceiling of spending – a norm that prevents spending growth exceeding inflation.
During Wednesday’s meeting, France also downplayed statements by Minister Paulo Guedes (Economy) that “the Chinese invented the virus” of Covid and said the comments did not affect Brazil’s relations with the Asian giant.
MEPs questioned the new foreign minister about the possible diplomatic effects of Guedes’ statements with China. Tuesday (27), the head of the Economy, unaware that it was being recorded, declared that “the Chinese invented the virus” by Covid, but has a vaccine less effective than that developed by the companies American.
The phrase about vaccines in China and the United States was spoken in a context in which he advocated greater efficiency of private companies over the public sector.
“The Chinese invented the virus and his vaccine is less effective than the American’s. The American has a hundred years of investment in research. So the guys are saying, ‘What’s the virus? Pfizer’s vaccine. is better than the others, “Guedes said. We are a family business.
This Wednesday, France said Guedes had already clarified its lines. “I don’t think it’s up to me to interpret what my colleague from the ministry says. I understand his speech has already been clarified. And I think that this does not harm the relations that Brazil maintains with China ”, declared the Chancellor. He added that on the morning of Wednesday, he met with Minister Marcelo Queiroga (Health) and called Yang Wanming, Chinese Ambassador to Brasilia.
“We are facing the acceleration of the arrival of active pharmaceutical ingredients here in Brazil,” he said. “I think our relationship is unaffected by these comments.”
The chancellor later reinforced the speech and said he did not believe such statements could undermine Brazil’s relations with China. The Minister recalled that for every 10 liters exported of IFA (active pharmaceutical ingredient) from China, 8 arrive in Brazil. “The relationship with China is strong, constant and based on pragmatism.”
France has also come out in defense of the management of the pandemic made by the government of Jair Bolsonaro. “Nobody has the recipe. While I think the Brazilian government was confused or had no way to act, I think this is not true, ”he said.