‘Protests won’t interfere with Confederations Cup’

Rio de Janeiro, June 18 (IANS) Brazil will not allow anti-government protests to mar the Confederations Cup being hosted here, Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said.

Rebelo said Monday that Brazil must show the world that it is a democratic country but also that it can guarantee the order needed to undertake such events, reports Xinhua.

“We will not allow any of these protests to get in the way of the events we have committed to organising,” said Rebelo, adding the demonstrations would be “tolerated within a certain limit”.

Rebelo said the security scheme implemented in the first three matches, held Saturday and Sunday, will be continued after proving successful.

Brazilians, already unhappy with price hikes and a slowing economy, are incensed by the millions of dollars the government is spending in hosting a series of large-scale sporting events, such as the Confederations Cup, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

During the inaugural game, protesters jeered President Dilma Rousseff’s opening speech. Several Brazilian cities including Sao Paulo and Rio have been hit by large protests because of rising bus fares.

At recent events, many protesters have complained not just about public transport but also about the state of public education and health care services in the country. The largest protest was held in Sao Paulo last Thursday and ended in a major clash with police.

Protesters have vowed to carry out their biggest ever demonstrations to bring down public transport fares with protests simultaneously scheduled in more than 20 Brazilian cities.

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