Brazil budget cutbacks threaten to downsize Rio carnival

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-21 13:06:52|Editor: Yang Yi
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RIO DE JANEIRO, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Rio de Janeiro's famed carnival will have to be scaled down after the city said belt-tightening measures would slash 4 million U.S. dollars from the 2018 carnival budget, officials said Tuesday.

Jorge Castanheira, president of the Independent League of the Special Group Samba Schools, told a press conference that without the money, the city's world famous carnival celebrations will have to be downsized.

Castanheira said he was calling on Marcelo Alves, president of the city's tourism company Riotur, to help raise funds from private sources.

One strategy is to sell advertising space at the sambadrome, the venue that hosts the competing samba schools during the carnival, Alves said.

On Monday, Rio Mayor Marcelo Crivella said he had no choice but to cut the budget.

"I cannot go back (on that decision). Circumstances force me (to make the cuts)," he said.

"What we are doing is returning to the budget of carnivals prior to 2016. Last year there was a (budget) increase during a moment of euphoria and ... look at the crisis in which the city of Rio de Janeiro finds itself today," said Crivella.

The Rio carnival is a festival held each year and the biggest of its kind in the world.