A judge on Brazil’s Supreme Court authorized new corruption investigations on Tuesday involving dozens of the country’s most powerful politicians, dealing yet another blow to the beleaguered government of President Michel Temer.The ruling by Justice Luiz Edson Fachin allows federal prosecutors to start new inquiries of at least eight ministers in Mr. Temer’s cabinet, including his chief of staff, Eliseu Padilha, and his foreign minister, Aloysio Nunes Ferreira, as well as much of the Senate.Altogether, this means that nearly a third of the cabinet and nearly a third of the Senate will be the target of inquiries in this new phase of the colossal scandal that emerged three years ago into graft around Petrobras, Brazil’s national oil company.
According to a 2013 report by Forbes:
A 2010 study by the FIESP (the Federation of Industries of Sao Paulo State, in its acronym in Portuguese), the average annual cost of corruption in Brazil is between 1.38% to 2.3% of the country’s total GDP.The World Bank lists Brazil in its database with a GDP of $2.253 trillion as of 2012, while the OECD expects Brazil to grow 2.5% this year.If the numbers of the FIESP study are to be believed, just in 2013 something between $32 billion and $53.1 billion can be accounted as “corruption money,” which, it is important to remember, gets out of circulation that hits growth.To put into perspective, if that money was invested in Brazil’s precarious education system, the number of Brazilian students enrolled in elementary school could be improved from its current 34.5 million to 51 million.
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