The beleaguered 2016 Summer Olympics has acquired a new headache, as the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro has declared a state of financial emergency and is requesting federal funds to ensure public services obligations are fulfilled during the event. The state’s official Gazette is warning of “a total collapse in public security, health, education, transport and environmental management” that can only be avoided by emergency measures. However, Mayor Eduardo Paes wrote on Twitter, “The state’s financial emergency in no way delays the delivery of Olympic projects and the promises assumed by the city of Rio,” Reuters reports.
The games, which begin August 5, are set to unfold as a remarkable chain of crises besets the country, the most recent development being the temporary suspension in May of President Dilma Rousseff’s powers while impeachment proceedings stemming from accusations of corruption continue. Vice President Michel Temer has assumed her duties amid further controversy and an ongoing, severe recession caused in part by dropping oil prices. Temer however has recently said Brazil’s federal government will ensure all Olympics obligations are honored.
The games themselves have also been plagued by problems, including extremely polluted waters in Brazil’s Guanabara Bay where windsurfing and sailing competitions will take place, fears about the region’s notorious crime rate, and the zika virus outbreak that has prompted many people working in television to skip the games entirely.
More than 500,000 people are expected to travel to Brazil for the games. The 2016 Summer Olympics will be broadcast in the United States by NBC.