Brazil senate chief to repay 'hair transplant' flight
25 December 2013, 08:30
Brasilia - The president of Brazil's senate, Renan Calheiros, will repay the cost of using an air force jet for a trip during which he reportedly had a hair transplant, his spokesperson said on Tuesday.
"The president is to repay the costs of this flight. He is waiting for the air force to calculate the bill before doing so," he said. "I don't know if the president has had a hair transplant."
The Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper had reported that Calheiros had flown 1 980km from Brasilia to Recife to have 10 000 hairs implanted while purportedly on a business trip.
And the paper recalled that he had also used an air force jet to travel to a wedding in the northeastern city of Salvador, resulting in his having to pick up a tab of 32 000 reais ($14 000).
In a country where many see the political class as corrupt, Calheiros says that congress has cut spending in response to the public protests which swept the country last June.
"Austerity in the senate showed it is possible to do more with less," Calheiros said in a speech on Monday, insisting politicians had listened to the "voice of the street".
In June, when protests erupted against corruption, Calheiros was one of the main symbolic targets of thousands of demonstrators, who demanded he leave office.