Brazil’s new finance minister takes office amid recession

Brasilia, Dec 22 (IANS) Brazilian new finance minister has assumed office with the responsibility of taking the country out of deep recession and ensuring economic growth.

The government announced last week that Joaquim Levy would step down as finance minister and would be replacemed by Nelson Barbosa, the planning and budget minister.

Valdir Simao will replace Barbosa, Xinhua reported.

In the inauguration ceremony on Monday, President Dilma Rousseff, who is battling the opening of impeachment proceedings in Congress, thanked Levy for his efforts to carry out the fiscal adjustments and praised his dedication, despite his failure to achieve his goal of rebalancing the public finances.

“His dedication and efforts helped the fiscal regulations despite an environment of political crisis,” Rousseff said.

“Joaquim Levy revealed a great capacity of acting with serenity and efficiency even when under great pressure.”

The President said ministers Barbosa and Simao now have the responsibility of convincing the Brazilian people that fiscal balance and economic growth can walk hand in hand, and ensuring the resumption of economic growth without resorting to sharp changes.

“They both have more than enough experience and competence. They know the public administration and participated in most priority projects we implemented over the past few years,” Rousseff said.

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