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article imageRio mayor denies construction stoppage

By AFP     Apr 2, 2015 in World

Rio de Janeiro's mayor on Thursday denied reports that construction had stopped on some projects for the 2016 Olympics because the city had failed to make payments on time.

"Everyone's working. There's no stoppage," Mayor Eduardo Paes told journalists. "Construction is strictly on schedule."

Brazilian media reports said Wednesday that construction firm Queiroz Galvao had laid off 70 workers and given notice to 1,000 others because the city had failed to pay it for work on the Deodoro Olympic Park, the second-largest cluster of venues that Rio has planned for the Games.

"It's a strategy by the companies to pressure us. We won't accept pressure. They are going to receive (the payments) on time," Paes said.

"There are bureaucratic procedures that must be completed to pay for public works, inspections to be done. Those procedures must be carried out."

The Olympics will be held from August 5 to 21 at four sites around the city.

Deodoro, in the north of Rio, is scheduled to host 11 sports, including equestrian events, BMX cycling and canoeing.

Work on the project began a year behind schedule, but Paes has vowed to complete it on time.

The mayor says $34.3 million of the $200 million budget has been paid.

The project is funded by the federal government.

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