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Economics

Trucker Turmoil Lays Bare Brazil's Distrust of Pro-Market Agenda

  • Latin America’s largest economy was paralysed by fuel dispute
  • Support for protest undermines reform program in elections

Brazilians who saw their income erode and jobs disappear in the worst recession on record endured the government’s austerity program with surprising calm. Until this week, that is.

Hundreds of thousands of truckers fed up with a market-driven policy that has pushed up fuel prices 50 percent in a year paralyzed much of the country, forcing the government and state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA to make costly concessions to end the disruption. On Friday morning many truckers continued on strike despite a deal the government had announced the night before.