News / Americas

Brazilian Congress to Investigate Ballooning World Cup Costs

Soccer balls representing Brazilian lawmakers sit in rows in front of Congress as a protest against spending on the Confederations Cup soccer tournament in Brasilia, June 26, 2013.
Soccer balls representing Brazilian lawmakers sit in rows in front of Congress as a protest against spending on the Confederations Cup soccer tournament in Brasilia, June 26, 2013.
Reuters
The Brazilian Congress will investigate the billions of dollars spent on soccer stadiums for next year's World Cup, one of the main complaints that fueled massive street protests last month against the country's political establishment.
 
Lawmakers gathered enough signatures to establish a joint investigation by both chambers of Congress that will look into cost overruns and allegations of corruption in the building or overhaul of 12 stadiums that will host the global soccer event.
 
The signatures still have to be verified and the petition confirmed by both chambers, which will not happen until August, allowing time for the government to convince lawmakers to withdraw their support and scuttle the probe.
 
A man stands between bonfires lit by demonstrators as they clashed with police during an anti-government protest in Rio de Janeiro, June 20, 2013.A man stands between bonfires lit by demonstrators as they clashed with police during an anti-government protest in Rio de Janeiro, June 20, 2013.
x
A man stands between bonfires lit by demonstrators as they clashed with police during an anti-government protest in Rio de Janeiro, June 20, 2013.
A man stands between bonfires lit by demonstrators as they clashed with police during an anti-government protest in Rio de Janeiro, June 20, 2013.
In a sudden outburst of national discontent that shocked politicians, Brazilians took to the streets in June to express their anger at the high cost of living and poor quality of public transport, health and education services, as well as overspending on the stadiums for the World Cup, an event that is meant to crown Brazil's emergence as a world economic power.
 
The main target of public ire was Brazil's political class,  which most Brazilians see as corrupt and self-serving.
 
Protests were fueled by the hosting of the Confederations Cup, a warm-up for the World Cup. Demonstrators demanded improved public services rather than costly mega-events like the World Cup and the Olympic Games set for 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.
 
“In the wake of the protests, Congress must change its attitude and open this investigation demanded by the people,” said Senator Alvaro Dias of the main opposition party PSDB, which initially requested the probe.
 
“No doubt there will be major revelations,” Dias said.
 
The investigation will look at cost-overruns in building new stadiums such as the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia, which is expected to cost more than 1.2 billion reais ($535.33 million) or double the original price tag.
 
Six of the 12 stadiums have been delivered for what some analysts say will be the most costly World Cup.
 
President Dilma Rousseff's government originally hoped to build the stadiums with private capital, but the arenas ended up depending on public funding. She has said the money will be repaid to the state.
 
($1 = 2.2416 reais)

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

New Brazil Poll Shows Silva Beating Rousseff in Runoff

Outcome seemed unimaginable just a few weeks ago; would put an end to 12 years of Workers' Party rule
More

Argentina Desires Deal Grouping All Holdout Investors Together

A deal is now not seen likely before next year's October presidential election, in which Fernandez cannot run
More

Hurricane Cristobal Kills Four, Moves Toward Bermuda

Storm is not expected to threaten US, but could cause deadly surf and rip currents from Florida to North Carolina
More

Peru's Congress Narrowly OKs Humala's New Cabinet on 3rd Vote

Lawmakers ratify president's embattled cabinet after ruling party offers to suspend rule requiring independent workers to pay into a pension program
More

Brazil's Deadly Prison Riot Ends

Officials say two inmates were beheaded during the Cascavel riot; two others were thrown to their deaths from the roof, and police are investigating how a fifth inmate died
More

Amid Slowdown, Chileans Adjust to New Economic Reality

Most economists now predict overall growth in country's economy of between 2.0 and 2.5 percent this year, down from 4.1 percent in 2013
More