Buenos Aires Times

Team Bolsonaro backtracks on Argentina statements

Brazil's incoming Finance Minister Paulo Guedes dealt Buenos Aires a blow on Sunday, telling reporters: "Argentina is not a priority, neither is the Mercosur".

Wednesday 31 October, 2018
Eduardo Bolsonaro.
Eduardo Bolsonaro. Foto:Bloomberg

Jair Bolsonaro sees the Mauricio Macri government in a "good light", despite Argentina not being a priority for Brazil's president-elect, Bolsonaro's son and lawmaker-elect Eduardo Bolsonaro said Tuesday.

"I liked hearing Macri talk about the reduction of public spending because Argentina is coming out of a crisis which demands unpopular measures. I am very interested in seeing Brazil move close to Argentina", Eduardo Bolsonaro told Mendoza's MDZ Online.

His comments come after Brazil's incoming Finance Minister Paulo Guedes dealt Buenos Aires a blow on Sunday, telling reporters: "Argentina is not a priority, neither is the Mercosur".

"The Mercosur is very restrictive", he said. "Brazil is a prisoner of ideological alliances and this is bad for the economy."

Guedes was forced to backtrack on Tuesday, telling Argentina's La Nación newspaper he was "sorry" for his comments.

"I am sorry. I said those words on election night and did not know how to respond", he said. "I did not want to offend Argentina or the Mercosur". "The truth is that it is not our priority at this moment because our internal problems are", he added. 

On Sunday, Guedes reiterated that the Bolsonaro government would "prioritise international trade", while looking to immediately overhaul the country's pension model and "accelerating privatisations".

OFFICIAL VISIT

The president-elect's travel plans also caused controversy, with Chile President Sebastián Piñera letting it slip that Bolsonaro would visit his country over a visit to Buenos Aires, which is tradition among incoming Brazilian presidents.

"He (president-elect Bolsonaro) has to have another surgery" because of the wounds he received when he was stabbed on the campaign trail. It remains to be seen "if he is in conditions to make that trip", Eduardo Bolsonaro said.  

See also: Macri gov't watches Brazil election with 'concern'

-TIME

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