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Prats' stay in Petrobras gains strength after Lula's meetings with Haddad  Julia Doilleby's blog

Prats' stay in Petrobras gains strength after Lula's meetings with Haddad Julia Doilleby's blog

Jean-Paul Prats – Photograph: Adriano Machado/Reuters

Jean-Paul Prats' stay at the helm of Petrobras gained strength after two meetings between President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (PT) and Finance Minister Fernando Haddad, behind closed doors, on Monday (9). Government sources estimate that Prats' situation has changed significantly compared to Friday, when his departure was considered certain.

Haddad was with Lula yesterday morning in a conversation that lasted one and a half hours. After that, he met with the president at night for 40 minutes. Lula had invited the minister to an informal meeting on Sunday evening. Haddad was in São Paulo, canceled his appointments and returned to Brasilia. However, the president decided to cancel the meeting after information about the meeting leaked to the press.

The Finance Minister is one of the few who defend Prats' continued leadership of the state-owned company, and his opinion usually carries great weight in Lula's tariffs. Haddad is disturbed by the turmoil in the company's governance due to unofficial information circulated in recent days about clashes between Mines and Energy Minister Alexander Silveira and the head of the state-owned company.

Silveira himself was talking with other ministers about the possibility of Prats remaining at Petrobras, as long as there was a change in the business line, more in line with the government's interests. Although Silveira, when he criticizes Prats, also echoes opinions regarding Lula, the president told his interlocutors that the minister had crossed this point in recent days.

However, according to government sources, the distribution of exceptional dividends is quiet. Petrobras is supposed to distribute half of these profits by the end of the month, as Prats himself defended weeks ago.