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‘State of Calamity’ in Rio Ahead of the Olympics

June 29, 2016 Leave a comment dridrive

rio 2016 - brazil flagWith only weeks to go before the Olympics opening ceremony, Rio de Janeiro is still scrambling to prepare. And with a fresh financial emergency piling on top of a number of other crises, the governor has declared a “state of calamity.”

According to NPR, Interim Governor Francisco Dornelles says Rio’s government is bankrupt, and can’t meet its financial commitments. Civil servants haven’t been paid, and hospitals are operating on a shoe string budget. Much of Rio’s revenue comes from oil and gas, but the state oil company is currently mired in the corruption scandal that has ensnared Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff.

To avoid a total collapse of public security, health, education, transport, and environmental management, the federal government is expected to bail Rio out with enough money to get it through the Olympics – but what happens after that is anyone’s guess.

This is yet another hurdle Brazil is dealing with as the games get closer. Other major concerns include the increased threat of the Zika virus, pollution in Guanabara Bay, a surge in violent crime, and incomplete construction of hosting venues.

DRI Executive Director Chloe Demrovsky was interviewed on Asset TV regarding Rio’s woes. Click here to watch the segment.