Calls are growing in Brazil to impeach President Dilma Rousseff over a multi-billion dollar corruption scandal involving the state-run oil giant Petrobras. While the country celebrates its annual Carnival, with the 2015 Samba Competition wrapping up in Rio de Janeiro, there has been a growing clamor on the web and in the streets, with millions of Brazilians asking for the impeachment of their president.
Brazil's sowings of safrinha corn are to fall for the first time in seven years, Conab (National Supply Co.) said, cutting its forecast for the country's overall production of the grain, and lowering hopes for the soybean harvest too.
Brazilian foreign minister Mauro Vieira discarded that the recent agreements reached by Argentina with China can interfere with Mercosur, while his Argentine counterpart Hector Timerman said that the package of accords with Beijing will actually benefit Mercosur.
Rolls-Royce has said it does not tolerate improper business after the Financial Times reported that the firm had been accused of being caught up in a bribery scandal in Brazil. Ft reported allegations that the company paid bribes for a contract with Brazilian oil firm Petrobras.
Germany wants to speed negotiations for a free trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur, said Foreign minister Walter Steinmeier in Brasilia. The agreement has been pending since 1999 when discussions started but so far have been unable to reach a deal or commit a date because of internal problems from both sides.
Retail sales in Brazil increased 2.2% in 2014 over the previous year, the smallest expansion in 11 years, the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics, or IBGE, reported this week. The sector suffered its worst year since 2003 when sales tumbled 3.7%. In 2013, retail sales grew 4.3%.
Brazil's Congress passed legislation on Tuesday that limits the president's ability to reduce pork-barrel spending passed by lawmakers, a setback for President Dilma Rousseff's efforts to fight a fiscal deficit.
Argentina and Brazil failed to reach an agreement to help unlock the ongoing tension between the two key Mercosur allies over bilateral trade. Argentina's Hector Timerman and his counterpart Mauro Vieira met in Buenos Aires to try and ease Brazil’s growing concerns about restrictions on the flow of goods, but any decisions were pushed forward to an undetermined date.
The new chief executive officer of Brazil's Petrobras said that he has full autonomy to dictate its own fuel-pricing policy and protect cash, even as he questioned the size of losses stemming from a giant corruption scandal.
Petrobras plans to publish its delayed audited fourth-quarter results by the end of March, something it needs to do to avoid possible early repayment of its bonds, the Globo newspaper said on Wednesday. Globo also published that the Brazilian government was considering appointing Planning minister Nelson Barbosa as chairman of the oil giant.