President Michel Temer asked business owners and executives for a “national alliance” to deal with Brazil's political crisis and shaky economic situation. Temer is leader of the centrist PMDB, the main governing partner of Rousseff's center-left Workers Party, PT.
The crisis is serious and we need to reunify the country, he said during a conference in Sao Paulo sponsored by Exame magazine, where the vice president's comments followed an opening address by federal Judge Sergio Moro, who is overseeing the probe into a $2 billion corruption scandal at state oil company Petrobras.
There's a need for national unity if we are to have social peace. The antagonism we see in the streets cannot go on, Temer said, alluding to the massive protests calling for the resignation of President Dilma Rousseff.
Though Temer has remained in the administration, many PMDB members of Congress have said they will no longer automatically support the government.
It's not that we have an institutional crisis, because branches of government like the judiciary keep working effectively amid the political and economic crisis, the vice president said.
Temer also defended the austerity package proposed by the government to revive an economy in recession.
Among the plan's provisions, Temer noted the need to repatriate and collect taxes from the money of Brazilians living abroad, as has been done by the United States, Germany and Italy, but admitted that, in situations like the present, it is tremendously difficult to govern with 32 political parties and get anything done.
We practically have no parties left, we just have party initials, which is why we need a politics-party restructuring to give the country political credibility, the vice president said.
In his speech, Temer also talked about the Rousseff administration's 2016 budget and its projected deficit.
A budget with a deficit is really worrying, but it is being prepared in that way, first, as a display of political transparency in budget matters. In other words, our accounts are not being prettied up to look better than they are, he said.