Thursday, May 7, 2015   

Protesters force Brazil fares u -turn
(06-20 10:06)

Bowing to mass protests, authorities of Brazil's two biggest cities – Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro – decided to roll back transport fare rises that had triggered widespread unrest.
Sao Paulo State Governor Geraldo Alckmin said metro, train and bus fares would revert to US$1.35 from US$1.44 from next Monday, according to the current exchange rate, while Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes said bus fares would go back to US$1.24 from US$1.33.
The decisions marked a major victory for the tens of thousands of citizens who have taken to the streets of both cities to vent their anger at the fare increases.
Several other Brazilian cities, including Porto Alegre and Recife, had already canceled the fare increases.
The nationwide anger also focused on the US$15 billion the government has earmarked for the Confederations Cup and the World Cup, which many Brazilians feel would have been better spent on health and education.
The fare increases may appear modest but they were seen by many as a major burden in a country where the minimum monthly wage is currently only US$306.--AFP
   
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