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The Olympics is ready for Rio, but is the city?

08/08/12 19:26 CET

The Olympics is ready for Rio, but is the city?
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The world’s eyes may be on London at the moment but in four years time they will turn to Rio de Janeiro; host of the next summer Olympics.

Justifiably popular with tourists, Brazil’s second city is marching ahead with work on venues and infrastructure.

But Rio also struggles with significant social inequality and crime; problems it has promised to address before the 2016 Games.

Communications director for Rio 2016 Carlos Villanova spoke to euronews’ London correspondent about reports the Games are running five times over budget.

“We will try to cope with our reality today. We had a big budget and when we created it for instance we had no rugby or golf, two sports that entered our edition of the Games after we created that budget. And we had another currency, another situation. In the next few months we will produce our first revision of this budget, which will be completely reasonable according to what we had in our bid,” says Villanova.

Ali Sheikholeslami, euronews: “As you know in 2011 last year Jenson Button was targeted in Rio during the Formula 1, so when it comes to security how are you going to make sure that huge number of athletes, delegates, heads of state will be safe in Rio?”

Carlos Villanova: “An isolated event as the one you mentioned, could have happened anywhere in the world. But I can tell you that in Rio we have a huge tradition of major events without any disturbances.”

euronews: “London really tried to leave a good legacy, especially in impoverished east London. Do you have any plans to basically target favelas and meaningfully improve them?

Carlos Villanova: “When people were discussing the budget for security they decided to change a meagre investment in ordinary security to an ambitious plan to change the whole security philosophy in the city. This plan flourished enormously and what we have today are many initiatives, the UPP, the Pacifying Police Units are only one of them which is bringing a new face to the so-called favelas in Rio.”

Follow Ali Sheikholeslami on Twitter

Copyright © 2014 euronews

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