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Mantega to Remain in Post, Report of Departure ’Unfounded’

Speculation that Finance Minister Guido Mantega asked President Dilma Rousseff to leave his post is “unfounded,” the ministry said today.

Correio Braziliense said today on its website that Mantega told Rousseff on Feb. 6 that he was too tired and wanted to leave. The Brasilia-based newspaper didn’t say how it obtained the information. Mantega, who has headed the Finance Ministry since 2006, joined the government in 2003, after President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was elected.

“It’s irresponsible for a journalist to publish rumors of this kind,” the ministry said today in an e-mailed statement, without mentioning Correio’s story. “The information is totally unfounded.”

Since June, Rousseff has lost her Cabinet chief and the ministers of transportation, labor, agriculture, tourism, sports and cities over allegations of corruption. All have denied wrongdoing. The defense minister stepped down in August after criticizing other members of the government. The Education Minister and the Women’s Rights Minister also stepped aside earlier this year to run in local elections this year.

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