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Last Updated: Friday, 6 August, 2004, 05:29 GMT 06:29 UK
Brazil chief banker urged to quit
By Steve Kingstone
BBC correspondent in Sao Paulo

The Governor of Brazil's Central Bank, Henrique Meirelles
Signs are ominous for Mr Meirelles
The Governor of Brazil's Central Bank is coming under mounting pressure to resign following new allegations about his financial affairs.

A press report said Henrique Meirelles had transferred funds from an undeclared bank account. Earlier reports accused him of tax evasion.

Mr Meirelles issued a strong denial of any wrongdoing.

But with Brazil's stock market falling after the allegations were published, opposition leaders say he should quit.

Fighting for future

The latest allegation concerns a transfer of $50,000 (33,000) in 2002 from an American bank account in the name of Henrique Meirelles to another US account operated by a firm of Brazilian money dealers.

The news magazine Veja says Mr Meirelles hadn't declared his account with Brazil's tax authorities.

It also reports that the firm of dealers is now under investigation for money laundering.

Once again Mr Meirelles has issued a strong denial.

A statement says he made proper tax declarations before and after moving back to Brazil from the United States in 2002. It adds that Mr Meirelles has no knowledge of the firm of money dealers.

Amid all this, Brazil's president is keen to hang on to the man he appointed but pressure on the governor is mounting.

The leader of the main opposition party has called on Mr Meirelles to resign immediately.

If he doesn't, he will face detailed questioning about his finances by a parliamentary committee.

Wherever the truth lies, the governor is now fighting for his future.

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