BRASILIA (Reuters) – The pension reform to be proposed by the Brazilian government will not be approved quickly, President Michel Temer told newspaper O Globo in an interview published on Sunday.
Temer said he plans to meet with union leaders before sending a pension reform bill to Congress. The government plans to introduce a minimum age for retirement, among other changes aimed at reducing a fast-growing budget deficit.
“I don’t believe it will be approved soon. We’ll send it, there will be street demonstrations and it will take time. I doubt this will be debated if there’s a runoff voting (in late October) in the mayoral elections,” Temer was quoted as saying.
The pension reform is part of a broader agenda proposed by Temer to overhaul state finances and rekindle investments after two years of severe recession. Temer has also proposed more flexible labor legislation and a mandatory cap for state spending valid for 20 years.
Temer took over permanently last month after former President Dilma Rousseff was removed from office by the Senate on charges of breaking budget laws. However, opinion polls show Temer’s popularity is also low. Street protests in recent weeks have called the impeachment a “coup” and demanded new elections.
Temer said he will oppose a bill to raise salaries of Supreme Court justices. The proposal to be voted on by the Senate has caused a rift in Temer’s wide coalition.
“I’ve been receiving phone calls from state governors saying ‘for the love of God, Temer, you can’t let that pass.”
(Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)