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How Brazil’s President Plans to Get the Country and Herself Out of This Mess

Dilma Rousseff (AP Photo)
Dilma Rousseff (AP Photo)

 

(Bloomberg) – Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff is battling to regain the trust of voters and global investors alike as the economy sinks and a corruption scandal deepens. On Tuesday she charted what she hopes is a path to recovery.

In an exclusive interview in the presidential palace in Brasilia, Rousseff said the recovery process at the state-run oil giant Petrobras would proceed by publishing a long-delayed audited financial statement by the end of April — and issued a strong denial that she knew about the bribery that has shaken the company she chaired from 2003 to 2010.

“None of us even saw a sign” of corruption, Rousseff, 67, said in her first interview since starting her second term in January. The board of the oil company “was made up of quite qualified entrepreneurs — it wasn’t just me.”

Rousseff is trying to regain her footing after a fall in popularity, triggered by the scandal and a faltering economy, that has dropped her approval rating to its lowest point. She is also facing heightened tensions in her ruling coalition that jeopardize approval of economic austerity measures proposed by her Finance Minister Joaquim Levy.

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