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article imageChaos, calamity and crisis — The main themes of Rio Olympic Games

By Karen Graham     Jun 28, 2016 in Sports
Rio De Janeiro - Rio de Janeiro's acting mayor on Monday warned the Summer Olympic Games could end up being a "big failure" because of the huge budget shortfalls that threaten to compromise security and mobility during the games.
The Concord Monitor is reporting that in an interview with Rio’s O Globo daily, Mayor Francisco Dornelles said the state is still waiting for about $860 million from the Brazilian government to shore up their empty coffers ahead of the August 5-21 event.
To emphasize just how serious the money crisis really is, Dornelles said that if the funds don't arrive by the end of the week, police protection will grind to a halt because there won't be enough money to buy gas for the patrol cars. The money was allocated last week,but as of Tuesday, had not been seen.
“How are people going to feel protected in a city without security?” Dornelles was quoted as asking. “I’m optimistic about the games, but I have to show reality. ... We can have a great Olympics, but if some steps aren’t taken, it can be a big failure.”
Brazil is another country that put all its eggs in one basket, relying heavily on oil royalties that are now sinking. The hard-hitting recession has dropped Brazil's economy into the basement, causing it to shrink four percent last year while the unemployment rate soared. Prior governments were in the habit of awarding huge tax exemptions, and now, government coffers are empty.
As for mobility, the new metro line, a subway line linking Barra to Ipanema and the city’s tourist zone to the main Olympic venue in Barra da Tijuca, isn't completed yet, even though it was promised for late last year. Again, a $290 million federal loan promised to finish the project hasn't been released.
Additionally, many infrastructure projects, such as special bus lanes and the construction sites needed to build them are best described as a massive, chaotic traffic snarl. The city says that most of the sites are 98 percent completed, but press tours and interviews with some of the athletes tell a different story, says Fox News.
Dornelles, 81 years old, was formerly the vice-governor of the state and had the job of acting mayor of Rio de Janeiro thrust upon him after Rio Gov. Luiz Fernando Pezao had to take medical leave earlier this year after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. When asked how he was dealing with the money crisis, Dornelles said, “for me, it’s been a mess.”
Ten days earlier, according to the Telegraph, Rio's government announced a “state of public calamity" over the financial crisis with only 49 days to go before the Summer Olympic Games. In a decree published late on February 17, it was stated: "a fall in public revenue – mainly a result of the oil crash – could stop the government from honoring its commitments to host the Rio 2016 Games."
The decree also warned the financial crisis could cause the “total collapse in public security, health, education, mobility and environmental management." In the decree, Francisco Dornelles authorized the use of "exceptional measures" to ensure the Olympic Games took place.
With the security budget slashed  security at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro may be threatene...
With the security budget slashed, security at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro may be threatened.
YouTube
The Olympic torch beside Rio's landmark  the staute of Christ the Redeemer  ahead of the Olympi...
The Olympic torch beside Rio's landmark, the staute of Christ the Redeemer, ahead of the Olympic Games in the Brazilian capital in August
Alex Ferro, RIO2016/AFP/File
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