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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Honduran President Links Border Crisis to US Policy Divide

Human, drug traffickers 'perversely' exploit confusion about US immigration policy, Juan Orlando Hernandez tells reporters on Capitol Hill
More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US
More

House Republicans Present Border Plan for Child Migrant Crisis

Proposal, they say, offers alternative to emergency funding requested by President Obama to deal with massive influx of illegals
More

US Ambassador Calls for LGBT Rights

John Berry spoke at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne
More

China's Xi Praises Close Ties with Cuba

Head of China's Communist Party hails common socialist bond between his country and Cuba as he kicks off a state visit in Havana
More

US Judge Orders Argentina, Creditors to Reach Deal

Lawyers for investors who declined to restructure bonds after country defaulted on about $100B in 2002 warned that time running out to reach a deal, avert fresh default
More