Brazil's Protests and the World Cup: A Brazilian's View

"Why are you protesting?"
"I can’t find a reason not to protest"

At first, the reason that led Brazilians to the streets was the increase in public transportation fare. But that was not the single cause for indignation, that was just the last straw.

The reasons why the protests in Brazil are happening are many, but they do have a common cause: corruption involving public money. Brazil does not have the highest tax burden in the world, but it offers the worst return on public services. We pay the taxes of a developed country but receive in return the services of an underdeveloped country. A typical brazilian works from January to May 30th only to pay taxes. That, along with years of government corruption, led to the protests.

As the protests have grown, so has revendication. Within a couple of days people had dozens of things to protest, and in the midst of the uproar we could see boards with slogans like:

"Say no to the World Cup"
"A teacher is worth more than Neymar"
"When your kid gets sick, take him to a stadium"

Our president and FIFA’s president were both booed during the opening Confederations Cup.

Besides that, the video Why I am not going to the World Cup in Brazil went viral. It is interesting to watch it to understand why brazilians are so frustrated with the World Cup

After that, many rumors started to spread about the Cup and the protests: it was said that FIFA would cancel the Confederations Cup, it was reported that the Italian team did not want to stay in Brazil for more games, and there was the rumor regarding the cancellation of the World Cup 2014!

None of these are true. The fact is that it is too late to prevent the World Cup of happening, and it would make no sense to do so. However, it is not too late to ask for transparency on the World Cup expenses. After all, we want to know why the stadiums in Brazil were so expensive. For example, “Mane Garrincha stadium” in Brasilia already reached 1.2 billion in expenses while the initial estimate was 697 million.

Points for discussion

To look at the protests and the World Cup objectively, and to have a more sensible discussion, I would like to address the key points.

- It is not factual to say that we spent 30 billion reais on stadiums. Actually, $ & billion (R) was spent, which is still a lot of money. The R$ 7 billion, is largely in a federal loan (federal government will charge back), and the largest part of the investment will be paid by the private sector.

The other $ 23 billion (US) were investments in infrastructure, transportation and airports that should benefit Brazil for years to come and it is good to remember that investment in transportation is one of the demands of the protests.

- HEALTH CARE x COPA: Is it strange to say that we want investments in heath care while we are investing in soccer stadiums?. During the last seven years we have spent approximately R $ 7 billion on stadiums. During the same period we have spent more than R $ 500 billion in health care.

I hope you follow us through the coming year as we cover the World Cup from different views and facets.


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