Rio Warns Olympics at Risk Due to State’s ‘Severe Economic Crisis’

Government declares state of “public calamity” ahead of Summer Games

Last Updated: June 17, 2016 @ 6:22 PM

Government officials in Rio de Janiero have declared a state of “public calamity” ahead of this summer’s Olympic games in the city.

Acting Gov. Francisco Dornelles announced the decision on Friday, giving the government more leeway to manage the state’s financial resources in order to honor its commitments to host the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in August.

A statement posted on the state government’s website blamed the dire economic situation on a “drop in revenue, mostly from tax on goods and services.”

“The financial crisis has brought several difficulties in essential public services and it could cause the total collapse of public security, health care, education, urban mobility and environmental management,” the statement continued.

The state of financial emergency comes at a time of political and economic turmoil in Brazil. President Dilma Rousseff was suspended last month by the Brazilian Senate, and will face an impeachment trial next month. Interim President Michel Temer has recently promised significant financial support to ensure Rio meets all of its commitments for the Summer Olympics.

The country must also contend with an outbreak of Zika virus, which has been deemed so dangerous that a group of 150 scientists, doctors and medical ethicists called for the relocation, or at least postponement, of the games in an open letter last month.

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