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Brazilian government announces financial package for truckers

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | April 18, 2019
Brazilian government announces financial package for truckers
LatAm   The package includes a credit line from Brazil's Development Bank

The Brazilian government announced a financial package for truck drivers, in order to prevent a potential truckers' strike.

The package includes a credit line from Brazil's Development Bank for local drivers to purchase and maintain their trucks, of up to 30,000 reals (around 7,682 U.S. dollars).

The government also announced the construction and renovation of several highways, the construction of more rest areas, a new pricing table for cargo transport, and a special credit card for truckers to purchase fuel with lower prices.

The announcement follows Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro's decision to suspend a 5.7-percent rise in the diesel fuel price. Last week, state-controlled oil and gas giant Petrobras announced the planned increase but suspended it shortly after Bolsonaro's orders.

The decision was considered against the president's campaign promises and caused the company to lose 32 billion reals (8.19 billion dollars) in market value on Friday only.

Although the financial package shows a clear effort to appease truck drivers who, according to local media, are unhappy with the current administration, the government denied being a hostage of a potential nationwide strike.

"This is not about being their hostage. They are asking for very little and their demands are extremely just, built on dialogue, without blackmail," said Infrastructure Minister Tarcisio Gomes de Freitas.

On May 21, 2018, Brazilian truck drivers carried out a nationwide strike which lasted several days and caused a severe national crisis that had an estimated economic impact of 7.7 billion dollars and led to shortages of food, medicine and petrol.

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