Rio de Janeiro State Government Declares Financial “Calamity” Ahead of Olympics

They warn of a "total collapse" in public services if the federal government doesn't pony up.

Olympics News Rio de Janeiro

On Friday, Rio de Janeiro’s state government declared a financial “state of calamity,” stating that federal funds were urgently needed for the state to meet its obligations for the Olympic Games, which are set to begin on August 5.

“Relevant authorities are hereby authorized to take extraordinary measures necessary to ration all essential public services needed for the Olympic and Paralympic Games of Rio 2016,” said the decree published in a government bulletin late Friday.

The collapse in crude oil prices over the past two years has hit Rio’s finances hard. In the bulletin, the government writes that the current funding crisis could cause a “total collapse in public security, healthcare, education, transit, and environmental management.”

Rio’s mayor, Eduardo Paes, who has staked his legacy to the Games, wrote on Twitter that the financial emergency “does nothing to delay the Olympic projects and the obligations taken on by [the city].”

“Therefore, I wish to renew confidence that we’ll put on some exceptional Games!” he added.

His comments were met with skepticism from Rio residents, known as Cariocas.

“No one is worried about the Olympics. Have some shame and take a look at the hospitals!” wrote Twitter user @tavaresmarcelaa.

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