Brazil's Temer tells Olympic committee Rio will be ready

Reuters News
Posted: May 17, 2016 12:24 AM

By Lisandra Paraguassu

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Interim President Michel Temer told the International Olympic Committee that Brazil's change of government has not interrupted preparations for the Rio 2016 Games, newly appointed Sports Minister Leonardo Picciani said on Monday.

Temer spoke to IOC president Thomas Bach by telephone and assured him the games will take place as planned, Picciani told reporters after a meeting with Brazil's new president, who replaced suspended President Dilma Rousseff on Thursday.

Picciani, a young politician from Rio, said preparations for the global sports event were on schedule and security for the games was guaranteed, playing down differences with the new Defense Minister Raul Jungmann.

Jungmann told the Estado de S.Paulo newspaper over the weekend he was worried about security provisions for foreign dignitaries and the failure of foreign intelligence agencies to cooperated with Brazil on potential terrorist attacks.

Picciani said the differences were overcome in the meeting with Temer. "There are issues that have to be resolved, but they are provided for within the government plan," Picciani said.

The Defense Ministry will deploy 38,000 troops for security during the Olympics to back 47,000 police and civil defense personnel in Rio de Janeiro.

Political turmoil over Rousseff's impeachment, the risk of crime and an outbreak of the Zika virus have threatened to keep visitors away from the games that kick off on August 5.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Michael Perry)