By YKA Staff:
While the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics at Rio de Janeiro is now behind us with modest fanfare, what was really on display was the city’s complicated and fractured relationship with the mega-sporting event.
Many Brazilians have been outraged by the escalated cost of hosting the Olympics (estimated to be around $12 billion) while the country’s economy is going through a hard recession. Amidst rising unemployment (11.2%) and a shrinking GDP, Brazil’s economy was not the vibrant one that it used to be. Feeling the pinch of the recession, amidst lack of government spending in education, healthcare, public transportation and even government employees’ salaries, many have taken to the streets to voice their frustration with the priorities of the government.
For many, it’s FIFA all over again, with the 2014 event in Brazil marked with similar protests against its high price tag and the accompanied corruption and eviction of many locals.
Moreover, the country is knee-deep in political turmoil ever since it’s president, Dilma Rousseff, was suspended early this year over allegations of hiding a budget deficit in order to improve her re-election chances. With many accusing the interim President Michel Temer of orchestrating a coup against Rousseff, the result has seen thousands of protesters coming together, although in Brazilian spirit, united in song and dance. The government reaction to the protests has been relatively less cheery.