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  • President Michel Temer has a 3 percent approval rating in Brazil.

    President Michel Temer has a 3 percent approval rating in Brazil. | Photo: Reuters

"This is a setback for Brazil, that we sell a bank like Caixa, which is the operator of many social programs and infrastructure credit," a Workers Party leader said.

The president of the Workers Party of Brazil denounced the government's attempt to privatize one of the largest banks in the country, Caixa Economica Federal.

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In what would be a first step toward ultimately selling the bank to private interests, the government of Michel Temer seeks to change the status of the bank through an internal decision that would make its privatization legal, according to Senator Gleisi Hoffmann from the Worker's Party, or PT.

The workers of Caixa have also announced they will mobilize if the government doesn't assure the bank will remain 100 percent public.

"Caixa has been one of the most important assets for the people, for being the main supporter of social policies of the Brazilian government," Fabiana Uehara from the Financial Workers Union said.

"It has helped mainly the poorest have access to credit, housing, education, health, and social security," she added.

Hoffman gave a press conference with the president of the Caixa Workers Union Jair Pedro Ferreira and the former president of the institution Pedro Eugênio.

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"This is a setback for Brazil, that we sell a bank like Caixa, which is the operator of many social programs and also in the area of infrastructure credit," Hoffman said. "We are very concerned with this possibility."

Hoffman said the Senate had previously approved a law to protect Caixa from the privatization process.

"We want to call for a mobilization with our senators and lawmakers in support of Caixa"

Temer has said 57 public companies and airport terminals will be privatized, with the objective of reducing the country's fiscal deficit which amounts to nearly US$500 billion.

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