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UPDATE 1-Brazil's Bolsonaro confirms reinstatement of Labor Ministry

·1 min read

(Updates with additional changes)

BRASILIA, July 22 (Reuters) - Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro confirmed on Thursday that he plans to reinstate the Labor Ministry, which had been merged with the Economy Ministry at the start of his term in 2019.

Speaking in a radio interview, Bolsonaro said the relaunch of the ministry is aimed at tackling unemployment, which is at a historic high of 14.7% amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Still, he also seems to be looking to please the so-called "centrao," an ideologically flexible bloc of lawmakers whose congressional support has been crucial to staving off the dozens of impeachment proceedings the president faces.

Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing sources, that Bolsonaro was set to recreate the ministry as part of a ministerial reshuffle next week.

Onyx Lorenzoni, currently secretary general of the presidency, will head the ministry, while senator Ciro Nogueira will replace him, Bolsonaro also confirmed. (Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu Writing by Carolina Mandl Editing by Stephen Eisenhammer and Frances Kerry)