BRASÍLIA: The International Monetary Fund said Thursday it will close its Brazilian office, a day after receiving harsh criticism from Economy Minister Paulo Guedes over its forecasts for Latin America’s biggest economy.
The IMF said it would close its office in Brasilia when the current country representative’s mandate expires on June 30, 2022. The move came after Guedes, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s ultra-liberal economy guru, said the IMF was overly pessimistic in its forecasts on Brazil and was no longer welcome.
“They can go take a walk,” he said Wednesday.
“They were here forecasting (Brazil’s economy) would contract by 9.7 percent (in 2020) and Britain’s would contract by four percent. In the end, we contracted by four percent, and Britain by 9.7 percent,” he said. He also accused IMF officials in the country of being more interested in “football and feijoada” — a meat-and-bean stew that is one of Brazil’s most famous attractions — than in helping the economy.