Brazil judge Marcia Maria Nunes blocks disbursement of public funds to Rio 2016 Games

Marcia Maria Nunes ruled that the federal government cannot provide 270 million reais in public funds for the Olympics organising committee unless its accounts are made public.

By: Reuters | Rio De Janeiro | Published: August 14, 2016 4:38:47 am
RioOlympics-m Eliseu Padilha had announced a day prior to lavish opening ceremony that the Organising Committee will receive 270 million reais.

A Brazilian judge has ruled that the federal government and the city of Rio de Janeiro cannot provide some 270 million reais ($85 million) in public funds for the Olympics organising committee unless its accounts are made public.

The decision late on Friday by Rio de Janeiro federal judge Marcia Maria Nunes was based on a request by federal prosecutors to prevent disbursements announced by a minister this month designed to prop up the accounts of the organising committee.

If the transfers had already been made, the judge said the organising committee should not make any payments using the money, under the threat of a fine of 100,000 reais per day.

Presidential Chief of Staff Eliseu Padilha announced on Aug. 4, the day before the Rio Olympics’ lavish opening ceremony, that the federal government would provide 120 million reais to the organising committee and the city of Rio would make a further 150 million available.

He said the money would be used to fund the opening and closing ceremonies of the Aug. 5-21 Olympics and next month’s Paralympics.

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes declined to confirm the transfer.

However, a spokesman for Rio 2016 said the organization would not require public funding to balance its books. He said organizers had been curbing expenses as Brazil suffers its worst recession in decades.

“We had a commitment not to use public money in organising the Olympic Games. This has to do with several things: with transparency and the need to prove that we can do things without the rescue of the government,” he said.

“We don’t believe the government needs to step in to pay expenses that are ours in regards to the organisation of the Olympic Games.” ($1 = 3.1929 Brazilian reais)

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