Thursday 21 September 2017

Brazilians protest over spending on World Cup

Donna Bowater Rio de Janeiro

PROTESTS by a quarter of a million people have swept Brazil as demonstrators expressed their anger over the amount of money being invested in the World Cup and an increase in bus fares.

After days of demonstrations, described as "legitimate" by Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's president, activists demonstrated in more than a dozen cities, including those hosting matches at next year's tournament, which is estimated to cost €11.67bn.

In scenes rarely seen in Brazil since the fall of the dictatorship in 1985, crowds took to the streets carrying placards reading: "World Cup for Who?" and "We don't need the World Cup".

Ms Rousseff responded with sympathy for the protesters. "Today, Brazil woke up stronger," she said. "The greatness of yesterday's demonstrations proved the power of democracy.

Freedom

"This message direct from the streets is for more citizenship, for better schools, hospitals, health centres, for more participation. My generation knows how much the freedom to protest costs." She added that the government was listening to the calls for change.

More protests, which have coincided with the start of the Confederations Cup football tournament, were expected to take place tomorrow, with up to a million likely to take part.

The catalyst was the rise in bus fares of around 7c, which was announced in January but postponed until later this year. The increase was to pay for improvements to the buses, including air-conditioning and disabled access ramps for the World Cup. (©Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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