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Brazil's Depression
Brazil in the Doldrums

Since the replacement of President Dilma Rousseff with Michael Temer, Brazil’s woes have not abated. Reuters reports:

Brazil’s central government on Tuesday recorded its biggest primary budget deficit ever for the month of May, with revenues down and the economy stuck in a second year of recession.

The new Treasury chief Ana Paula Vescovi also said the Treasury will not authorize a credit line for Rio de Janeiro to conclude a metro line for the Olympics site until the state pays its debts with the federal government.

The central government account, which covers federal ministries, the central bank and social security, posted a primary budget deficit of 15.494 billion reais ($4.68 billion) for May, slightly better than the 17 billion reais shortfall expected by the market.

There had been some hope that Dilma’s ouster (which remains officially temporary while impeachment proceedings continue) would stabilize the economy, but Brazil’s many crises continue. The Central Bank is struggling to rein in inflation, which is expected to remain above-target next year. Meanwhile, authorities fear looming terror threats ahead of the Summer Olympics in Rio, where first responders warn they may not do their jobs if salary checks don’t start showing up on time.

Then, of course, there’s the Zika virus which has prompted some doctors to advise athletes and spectators to skip this year’s festivities. As a result of all the turmoil, the new government in Brasilia has suspended plans to accept up to 100,000 refugees over the next few years.

A man was arrested over the weekend after throwing water at the Olympic flame as it passed through his village. The water missed the torch, according to reports, but soaked several of its bearers—a fitting symbol for a country that just can’t seem to catch a break.

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