Confidential during his tenure, the former head of state’s spending was declassified in a document released Wednesday by the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Brazilian Republic.
If money doesn’t have a smell, then surely it must have a taste for Bolsonaro. Maybe that of ice cream or McDonald’s menus. The former president, who is reluctant to return from the United States where he flew just ahead of his rival’s inauguration for fear of a lawsuit, is once again on the sidelines. The General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Brazilian Republic published on Wednesday the transactions made with the President’s bank card during his term of office. The request was made by Fiquem Sabendo, an independent agency fighting for access to information and transparency of public service documents. Lula, Dilma Rousseff, Michel Temer, Jair Bolsonaro… the Excel spreadsheet made available to all lists the president’s expenses since 2003.
McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Burger King…
A total of 27.6 million reais, or just over 5 million euros, was spent during Bolsonaro’s tenure from 2019 until his loss to Lula. Many of these offerings are attracting attention, including luxury accommodations and expensive meals. The Brazilian ex-president had the easy card during his tenure and didn’t really skimp on his spending. They have been detailed in several Brazilian national media outlets, including O Globo.
The scientific journal Núcleo do Conhecimento recalls on its website that the use of public funds through the President’s credit card can only be carried out for “the costs incurred by the purchase of material and the provision of services”. The national media O Globo dwell on some questionable amounts: the credit card was used to finance around sixty ice cream orders for 8,600 reais. More than 10.5 million went directly to hotel rooms – including the Hotel Ferraretto in Guarujá – or apartments and 800 reais to menus at McDonald’s. Not forgetting a few meals at Pizza Hut and a visit to Burger King.
Other chain restaurants were apparently popular haunts for the former leader, including Outback, which has more than a dozen publicly funded meals in total. Expenses that, for some, correlate with moments in the former president’s personal life. 55,000 reais were spent over a weekend at one of the country’s chain bakeries, Santa Marta, just as one of Bolsonaro’s sons, Eduardo, was celebrating his wedding in Rio in 2019.
One of the most unequal countries in the world
Of these four years, the Brazilian media, including Folha de Boa Vista, chose to maintain the highest spending on food. A restaurant in Boa Vista in the Amazon cost more than 109,000 reais, although, as a São Paulo MP Sâmia Bomfim (left) said in a tweet, the dish cost less than 20 reais.
Eat Pequeno Restaurante Fica in Boa Vista, Roraima. Bolsonaro gastou aí R$109 mil cartão corporativo num único dia. A Quentinha oferecida custa R$20. Pra conta fechar, teriam que fazer 5450 quentinhas no dia. 227 per hour, per 24 hours without a break. No minimum estranho, não acham? pic.twitter.com/OnGLyPCWOr
— Samia Bomfim (@samiabomfim) January 12, 2023
At the moment, the former president has not commented on these revelations. Other personalities did not hesitate to comment on these revelations on Twitter, including William de Lucca, journalist and activist, who questioned Bolsonaro’s spending at what appears to be his favorite supermarket: “There were 1,490 purchases during his four-year tenure and Jair [Bolsonaro] spent 815,417.42 reais there.”
Jair Bolsonaro is a Supermercado favorite for using a Corporate Presidential Cartão: a rede Big Box (com o nome commercial de BIG TRANS COMERCIAL). Foram 1,490 compras duree os quatro anos de mandate e lá Jair gastou R$ 815,417.42 in different units. pic.twitter.com/x9Leg5KlDK
— William DeLucca (@delucca) January 13, 2023
Brazil is one of the most unequal countries in the world. According to the Brazilian Food Sovereignty and Food Security Research Network, more than half of the country’s residents, 125 million of the country’s 213 million people, have no certainty about what they will be able to eat in the near future.