Organisers tighten their budget on the eve of 2016 Olympics
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The 2016 Olympics are 80 per cent ready, but Brazil's punishing economic crisis has forced organizers to dramatically tighten their belts.
Rio de Janeiro was named host for the 2016 Olympic games six years ago, and in that time, Brazil’s economy has gone from bad to worse. Mired in recession and political crisis, the country struggles to keep up.
Needless to say this has added some pressure on the Rio 2016 Committee. They have been asked to keep a tight lid on their expenses according to the chief spokesperson, Mario Andrada.
He said that the overall budget had been cut between five and 20 percent.
Meaning that, for example, athletes participating in the Games will not have televisions in their rooms and they will have to share the ones located in the common areas of the apartments in the athletes' village.
The VIP area will be more modest than at past Olympics and, in a bid to save paper (and the planet), "print less" will be the mantra of the day.
"These will be the first Olympic Games to have intelligent cost management, with a balanced budget. We're going to organize the games with the money we have. We're not going to leave unsettled bills for the government or society to pay," Andrada said in a statement.
The committee has $1.9 billion to organize the Games, and is trying not to touch a $780 million fund from the federal government for related expenses such as transport infrastructure and security.
Andrada vowed no cuts would be made to budgets for venues, competitions, the opening ceremony or "legacy" projects intended to last after the Games.
Andrada was quick to respond to the critics by saying that "Rio was 80 percent ready today. In April it will be 100 percent ready, and throughout the Games it will be at 120 percent. It will be a spectacular Olympiad.”
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