The Economy & Three Additional Things More Important Than the 2014 FIFA World Cup to Brazilians
Brazil is lush with a complex system of rivers, and its size, diverse terrain, climate and resources make it a truly unique place.
The fifth largest country in the world, Brazil was selected to be the home of the 2014 FIFA World Cup back in 2007, and will be hosting for the first time since 1950. But, amid the futbol-oriented celebration is uncertainty and anger from Brazil's natives.
Millions have taken to the streets protesting corruption, inflation, and a lack of government investment in public transportation, healthcare, education, and other important public service needs in the country.
According a Pew Research Center survey, 72 percent of Brazilians are dissatisfied with the state of the nation, up from 55 percent when surveyed last year. Economic concerns top the list of major concerns in the country, as well as crime (83 percent), health care (83 percent), political corruption (78 percent) and poor quality schools (64 percent), and certainly not the World Cup.
Demonstrations began in June 2013, and discontent has continued to grow due to the fact that the once-booming economy has taken a turn for the worst, according to two-thirds of surveyed individuals. Ratings regarding the country's economy has plummeted since 2013, the positive views of national conditions and the economy plunging by double digits across gender, age, education and nearly all income groups. Eight-five percent indicated that they were concerned about widespread price hikes and 72 percent are concerned about the lack of employment opportunities. Only one-third believe that hosting the international competition will produce more jobs or will help to grow the economy. And, two-thirds believe that the World cup is tearing money away from public services and the community.
Nearly six-in-ten (61 percent) of Brazilians believe that hosting the World Cup is bad for Brazil, and is steering money away from schools, health care and other public services. Excessive use of police force was administered during last year's protestors, who demonstrated due to disproval over Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's handling of major issues including preparations for the World Cup, corruption, healthcare, education, poverty, public transportation and foreign policy. Half described air and water pollution (50 percent), public transportation (48 percent) and traffic (47perent) as very big problems but, instead of addressing those issues, millions was allotted to build and revamp stadiums and more than $3.6 billion tax dollars was spent on the World Cup.
Many (39 percent) expressed skepticism about the international benefit of hosting the event, saying that it will hurt Brazil's image around the world, while nearly the same (35 percent) believe that it will help Brazil's image. Brazilians (76 percent) believe that their country lacks respect abroad, and significant amounts believe that the World Cup will not have any impact on the way that Brazil is viewed.
Lack of public services, corruption, and inflation are mixed in the eyes of Brazilian demonstrators, who blame the lack of resources on officials. The billions splurged on the grand event rather than public needs have led to mistrust between Brazil's government and residents, who already experienced massive corruption under Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva during his two-term presidency.
Clashes, protests, and tear gassing is already occurring at the World Cup. As activists surround stadiums, they are met with the heavy-handed armed forces, who want to quiet outrage in order to create smooth conditions for foreigners visiting for the World Cup. However, Brazil's anti-World Cup protests are unlikely to cease anytime soon.
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