Rio police tear gas budget plan protestors

Brazilians are angered and holding protests in Rio de Janeiro against a government plan to put limits on public spending.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Protesters said the spending cuts would hurt health, education and other social programs. Rio de Janeiro on October 17, 2016.

Updated Oct 19, 2016

Brazilian police fired tear gas at demonstrators protesting government proposals for budget cuts in the capital Rio de Janeiro on Monday, GloboNews Channel said.

The South American nation has been a hub of protests since President Michel Temer, whose government recently proposed a constitutional limit on federal government spending, took office late August this year.

Protesters said the measure will hurt health, education and other social spending.

When the crowd of an estimated 5,000 people approached the headquarters of state oil company Petrobras, police moved to disperse the demonstrators shortly before 8 PM (2200 GMT). 

They veered off an approved route, left the main protest that was winding down Rio's main downtown avenue and allegedly provoked police, according to GloboNews.

The government plan would restrict budget increases to the inflation rate for 20 years. The measure is aimed at closing a budget deficit that exceeded 10 per cent of gross domestic product last year. It also aims to revive confidence in the midst of a two-year recession that has seen Brazil lose 12 million jobs.

Supporters of the former President Dilma Rousseff hold a protest against the new President Michel Temer in Rio de Janeiro on August 31, 2016 (Reuters).

Temer was the vice-president under former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, who was removed over corruption charges by the country’s Senate earlier in August this year.

He became the acting president and was sworn as the new president, replacing Rousseff who has denied all the charges against her.

In September, tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest Temer. They wanted the country to hold immediate elections. Temer dismissed the protests as "small groups, not popular movements of any size," the BBC reported.

TRTWorld and agencies