Rio state endures financial calamity weeks before Olympics
Rio de Janeiro, June 30 (IANS) Five weeks before the beginning of the Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro state is going through a financial calamity and is struggling to stay afloat.
The Games will be held in state capital Rio, and both the city and state governments participated in the investments to host the event, along with the federal government and the private sector, reports Xinhua.
However, the state government declared a state of financial calamity earlier this month, and asked for federal help in order to ensure that Olympic commitments are fulfilled.
The new subway line, which is the main Olympic legacy project in the urban mobility sector, may not be ready on time for the Games, which may be a concern, as the line goes exactly to the neighborhood many competitions will be held, and one less transportation mode may increase traffic problems.
The subway project is drowning in debt; the state government asked for a loan to the Brazilian Development Bank, which denied any money until some of the state’s existing debt is paid.
State workers in general are not receiving their salaries either; state schools and universities have been at strike for months and hospitals are at a poor state. Public security is struggling: policemen are not receiving their salaries on time and the state admitted to difficulties in paying for the smallest things, such as fuel in police cars.
In the meantime, crime continues to feature heavily in residents’ lives. Earlier on Wednesday, body parts were found ashore in Copacabana Beach, close to one of the Olympic venues, the beach volleyball arena. Last month, a case of gang rape became international news; earlier this week, a local doctor was killed not far from the international airport, in an apparent robbery.
Local website G1 informed that interim President Michel Temer officially authorizes a 2.9 billion reals aid to the state on Wednesday evening. The state had been promised financial aid, which will help with the Games but will not be used for relief with the state’s general financial situation, such as paying state workers.