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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Cubans Imagine New, More Prosperous Life Without an Old Foe

News of the historic shift in US-Cuban relations echoed quickly through the Spanish colonial plazas of Old Havana this week
More

Video Obama Faces Opposition on Cuba

Several legislative obstacles may stand in the way of normal relations with Cuba
More

US Expects January Talks With Cuba

Meeting, that was originally a periodic review of Cuba-US migration, will now include talks on restoring diplomatic relations
More

Brazil's Rousseff Pledges to Tighten Operations at Petrobras

She urges Brazilians not to lose faith in oil producer, which is mired in a corruption scandal
More

Colombia to Print Garcia Marquez Banknotes in Tribute to Writer

Currency to honor country's most celebrated writer, who died in April and who is renowned as the father of magical realism storytelling
More

US-Cuba Trade Could Grow Significantly

Analysts say US exports to Cuba could eventually hit $5.9 billion annually, while Havana's exports to the US could reach $6.7 billion
More