Rio government denounced for extravagant spending during crisis

Updated: 2016-06-21 16:00


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RIO DE JANEIRO - The Rio de Janeiro state government was accused of making extravagant spending amid a deep financial crisis.

The state declared state of public calamity last Friday, due to a severe financial crisis. However, as a local news radio station reported, the headquarters of the state government maintained a public bidding for purchases for an extravagant banquet.

The bidding was to be held on Tuesday, and featured the purchases of fancy fruits, such as blueberries and raspberries, all of which are imported and very expensive, in addition to significant amounts of expensive fish and filet steak.

The purchases would cost the state 361,000 reals ($106,000). The minimum monthly wage in Brazil is currently 880 reals ($258).

The state government was criticized for holding such expensive purchases while the public servants are not being paid and hot meals at schools were replaced by snacks for lack of money.

In Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ), the largest university administrated by the state government, students' meals were also suspended for the lack of money. The university has been at strike for three months because professors and outsourced workers did not receive their wages.

After the scandal, Rio state's interim governor Francisco Dornelles canceled the bidding. However, the distrust over Rio's capacity to hold the Olympic Games in August has increased with every stumble the administration takes.