Brazil denies economy minister departure rumors

GMT 11:20 2015 Friday ,04 September

Arab Today, arab today Brazil denies economy minister departure rumors

Rumours of Brazilian Finance Minister Joaquim Levy's
Sao Paulo - AFP

Brazil's government denied rumors that the country's finance minister was about to step down, which come as the world's seventh-biggest economy struggles with a steep slowdown.

President Dilma Rousseff's chief of staff shot down the rumors after local press reports suggested Finance Minister Joaquim Levy could quit due to a lack of support.

"Clearly Levy remains. He has a commitment to this country, with this project," chief of staff Aloizio Mercadante said.

Reports of Levy's departure were triggered early Thursday after he cancelled his trip to a G20 meeting in Turkey and instead met with the president.

By the end of the day, however, the Finance Ministry's press office confirmed to AFP that after aborting the trip, Levy decided to head to Turkey overnight.

Brazil's economy is undergoing a marked slowdown. The country's currency, the real, is down more than 29 percent since the start of the year.

Levy is the face of leftist Rousseff's tilt toward austerity, cutting lavish spending that the debt-saddled government can no longer afford.

But his job has become a political lightning rod, with Brazil now in recession and the government presenting its first deficit budget this week.

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