French commuters and tourists braced for a fifth day of public transport chaos Monday as the government prepared to respond to widespread anger over pension reform that has sparked open-ended walkouts.
Brazil's Senate on Tuesday gave final approval to a landmark reform of the country's social security system, in a step seen as key to stabilizing public finances and the economy. The text was approved by a vote of 60-19.
Brazil’s Economy Minister Paulo Guedes has canceled a trip to the International Monetary Fund’s annual meeting (IMF) in Washington, to deal with his economic agenda, the ministry said on Wednesday, as the government’s pension reform plan winds its way through Congress.
Brazil’s Senate will hold the second and final vote on pension reform on Oct. 22, party leaders agreed on Tuesday night after long discussions, according to Senator Antonio Anastasia of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party.
Brazil’s Senate on Wednesday approved a landmark pension reform bill in the first round of voting, in relief for far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, although senators voted down an amendment in a move that dilutes the reform’s projected savings. The bill will now pass to a second and final voting round.
Brazil’s Senate constitutional affairs committee on Wednesday approved by a vote of 18-7 a bill that would overhaul the social security system and save the federal government about 1 trillion reais (US$243 billion) over the next decade.
Brazil’s Senate is expected to consider extending pension reform to states and municipal governments as it moves to vote on a bill overhauling the social security system, lawmakers said on Thursday.
Brazilian House speaker Rodrigo Maia said over the weekend he expects the lower Congressional House to begin voting on the pension reform bill this Tuesday. After a meeting with Congressional leaders on Saturday in Brasilia, Maia said he will begin discussing the bill with party leaders on Monday and expects voting to begin late on Tuesday.
Brazilian markets rallied on Thursday and stocks hit the highest level on record, as the government’s cornerstone pension reform bill cleared a key congressional hurdle. The special pension reform committee in Congress passed the basic text by a vote of 36 to 13, and the reform bill could now be only two weeks from achieving full lower house approval.
Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s president, likes romantic metaphors. “Our marriage is stronger than ever,” he said in May after the press speculated that he was at odds with the economy minister, Paulo Guedes. “The marriage ended with no hard feelings,” he said this month after sacking Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz, a minister who had said that others in government should be more careful on social media—thus outraging Bolsonaro fans who tweet about the virtues of military rule and the horrors of homosexuality.