Brazil World Cup stadiums symbol of tournament’s dubious legacy

Vivek Chaudhary – ESPN FC, 6/20/2015

As Brazil marks one year since hosting the World Cup, it reflects on the tournament’s checkered legacy. More than $3 billion was spent on building five new stadiums and renovating seven existing ones, but many of these so-called white elephants are as likely now to collect dust as they are to generate ticket receipts.

“When I look back on the 2014 World Cup, it is not good,” the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, told ESPN FC. “Brazil was left with some great stadiums, but they were too expensive because of corruption.

“Brazilians have not benefited from the tournament. There has been no legacy for them. The World Cup still makes them angry. There is regret that we even staged it.”

Read more… 

The Outlook of Brazil’s October Elections by the Country’s Leading Pollster


During the Brazil Institute’s event on July 29, 2014, Mauro Paulino and Carlos Eduardo Lins da Silva provided their insight on the upcoming Presidential elections in Brazil. Paulino, through his work with the prominent Brazil-based research institute, Datafolha, revealed past as well as present statistics and predictions to shed light on the development of voter intention in the upcoming October elections.

The general electorate in Brazil is younger and more educated than it was in the past, leading to a higher distrust in political parties. The speakers note that because of this, the current candidates would do well in distancing themselves from the government and its reputation for corruption by offering a new and separate alternative, but it is unknown as to whether or not this will come to fruition.

Paulino points out a Brazilian anomaly in that although television time is generally thought to enhance candidates’ chances of getting elected, this notion is statistically not true in Brazil. This-coming election also holds the largest percentage of people who are currently unsure for whom they would vote or who would not select any of the candidates by submitting a blank vote. Continue reading “The Outlook of Brazil’s October Elections by the Country’s Leading Pollster”

Brazil scrambles to ready 2016 Olympics

Paul Kiernan & Matthew Futterman – Wall Street Journal, 2/18/2014

Brazilian officials are racing to prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games, hoping to avoid the embarrassment suffered this month by their counterparts in Sochi, Russia, as a number of projects are behind schedule.

With little more than two years remaining before Rio de Janeiro is set to host the Summer Games, the 15 projects comprising Rio’s Deodoro Sports Complex—where events including canoe slalom, fencing, pentathlon and shooting will be held—have yet to be fully defined. Only four of the total 52 construction projects outlined last month by the Public Olympic Authority are complete.

Organizers of the Rio event have a chance to learn from this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, where construction delays led to spiraling budgets and some unwanted publicity from visitors who arrived to unfinished hotel rooms. Jean-Claude Killy, chairman of the International Olympic Committee’s coordinating commission for Sochi, said this week that the planners for the 2016 Games don’t have a “tenth of a second” to waste.

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Former IMF fiscal affairs director says Brazil may loose fiscal compass

Estado de S. Paulo, 09/21/2013

Brazil’s primary budget surplus lost value as an indicator of the situation of the country’s public accounts, assessed economist Teresa Ter-Minassian, who believes the country is in danger of “loosing its fiscal compass” due to the accounting maneuvers used to try to keep the indicator within the official target.

Teresa, former director of fiscal affairs for the IMF, criticized the exclusion of expenses and the use of extraordinary revenues to increase the value of the indicator. “The budget surplus accounts for a universe that is becoming smaller and smaller,” she stated.

Read full article in Portuguese here.


Brazil’s “midde class,” and the protests

Vincent Bevins – Folha de S.Paulo, 08/13/2013

Back in March, in the alternate universe of pre-protest Brazil, I posted this – “What is ‘middle class’” – on this blog, on the 40 million people who have entered the ‘new middle class’ recently and how very different they are from the ‘old’ middle class and international definitions of the term. Partially as a result, the BBC asked me to take part in a round table debate on Brazil’s middle classes, its discontents, and the role they’ve played in the demonstrations that have swept the country since June.

Since I am on vacation, I thought posting this link would be an easy way to supply content for those people who who bizarrely care what I think about these things. Oh, and the debate also features former Finance Minister Mailson da Nobrega, Alexandre Schwartsman, and Lucia Nader, executive director of the Conectas human rights organization.

Below are some small points I want to make about the protests more generally, somewhat as a correction to some of the other international coverage.

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Brazil admits need to improve on stadium delivery

Associated Press, 08/09/2013

Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo says Brazil needs to find a way to speed up the completion of the six stadiums still being built for the 2014 World Cup.

Mr Rebelo on Thursday said Brazil learned from the Confederations Cup that it has to do a better job to guarantee the stadiums are finished by the December deadline established by FIFA.

Only two of the six venues needed for the warm-up tournament played earlier this year were completed by the initial deadline set by football’s governing body.

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Brazil trial over plane crash that killed 199

BBC News, 08/08/2013

A former director of the Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency has gone on trial in Sao Paulo over the deaths of 199 people in a plane crash six years ago.

Denise Abreu and two TAM Airlines senior employees have been accused of neglecting air transport safety by allowing the jet to land in heavy rain on the recently resurfaced runway.

The Airbus A320 passenger jet overshot the runway at Congonhas airport.

Read more…