News

Brazil protests are 'something positive'

The protests in Brazil are signs of a healthy democracy, said Mr Serra.

"It is good that the people want a better life for themselves, and their demands are positive," he added.

The protests have been ongoing since the Fifa Confederations Cup last year, which was also held in Brazil as a dress rehearsal for the Fifa World Cup.

The protesters have been arguing against the large government spending for the World Cup when they say basic needs of the people have not been met.

Brazil is one of the top 10 economies in the world, but income inequality is high and poverty prevalent.

"I wouldn't say that everything is perfect in Brazil.

"People are confused because they think we are spending on stadium construction what we should have spent on schools and hospitals, but these are different budgets," he explained.

Estimates from the embassy showed that the contribution to Brazil's gross domestic product (GDP) from the World Cup this year will reach US$13 billion (S$16 billion).

It added US$4.26 billion to the GDP last year, while total investment in the World Cup was US$11.24 billion.

DEMONSTRATIONS

The latest demonstrations took place in Sao Paulo on Monday, with subway workers going on strike, worsening traffic conditions in the city.

"The protesters want better education, health care, transportation and less corruption, and these demands are something positive because they improve productivity. What is negative - demanding more holidays, earlier retirement or higher pensions. I would be worried if people were protesting for these," said Mr Serra.


I hope it will be a wonderful World Cup, because we have all the factors in place — like having the supporters, knowing the pitches well and being used to the weather.

— Brazil’s Ambassador to Singapore, Mr Luis Fernando de Andrade Serra