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Rio Declares Financial Emergency Before Olympic Games

  • VOA News

Workers are pictured at the construction site of the beach volleyball venue for 2016 Rio Olympics on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 9, 2016.

Workers are pictured at the construction site of the beach volleyball venue for 2016 Rio Olympics on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 9, 2016.

Brazil's Rio state has declared a fiscal crisis less than two months before the opening of the first Olympic Games to be held in South America.

The crisis opens the way for the release of emergency funds for the August 5-21 Olympics and the September 7-18 Paralympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro. Some of the key Olympic projects depend heavily on the state government.

Francisco Dornelles, Rio's acting governor, said in a statement that the games posed "serious difficulties in delivering essential public services and could even cause a collapse in public safety, health, education, transportation and environmental management."

When asked how the situation had become so dire, Dornelles said, "What happened yesterday is history. I'm not interested in history. I'm interested in resolving the current problems."

The fall of global oil prices has thrown Rio state into a financial crunch at the same time Brazil is experiencing a deep recession. Public workers and retirees have suffered months-long delays in receiving their payments.

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