Brazil: Financial Crisis Prompts City Governments to Cut Funds for Carnival

Posted on February 7, 2016 • Filed under: Brazil, Culture, Economy, Latin America Travel

Folha de São Paulo reported the decision of many local governments in Brazil to cut public funding for Carnival this year. Due to the economic crisis currently unfolding, there are at least fifty-three cities across the country that have decided to make major cut backs or de-fund entirely the two-week national holiday.

In Minas Gerais alone, twenty-six cities have seen unprecedented reductions in government funding. The annual economy surrounding samba schools, drum lines, and costume shops is trying to make the most of a low budget this Carnival season. Actors in the organization of the event, accustomed to working with large sums of money, are coping with fewer artists, performances, and traditional parades.

Despite frustration voiced by some citizens, however, local officials are finding innovative uses for the saved money. “In the place of confetti, streamers, samba schools, block parties and shows, the cities—where there are funds—are investing in ambulances, children’s shelters, class rooms, and anti-flooding projects.”  In São João del-Rei, for example, the city is investing R$350,000 towards healthcare and its “Operation Pothole” project. Read article.

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