IOC launches Rio cost savings, upbeat about progress

Wed Dec 9, 2015 1:41pm EST
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By Karolos Grohmann

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is confident next year's Games in Rio de Janeiro will not be compromised by the political turmoil and economic downturn in Brazil, although preparations have "inevitably" been affected.

The Rio Olympics have been plagued by delays for years but the situation is improving, the IOC said on Wednesday.

The IOC also said it had set up a working group to look at savings in the runup to the Games as the ruling body and organizers look to tackle costs amid a deteriorating financial climate.

As preparations go into the final stretch there is also political upheaval with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff facing impeachment.

"It will inevitably affect the Games," IOC Vice President Craig Reedie told reporters when asked if Brazil's situation had any impact on preparations.

"There are challenges," he said after Rio Games organizers delivered a progress report at the IOC Executive board meeting.

Opposition politicians launched the impeachment process against Rousseff last week for allegedly breaking Brazil's budget laws. The Supreme Court suspended proceedings on Wednesday pending a decision on its constitutional validity.

Political wrangling over the impeachment could drag on for at least six months at a time when the government faces legislative gridlock, the deepest recession in three decades and a corruption scandal at state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA.   Continued...

A view of the Arena da Amazonas Stadium that will host soccer matches in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Manaus, Brazil, October 1, 2015. REUTERS/Bruno Kelly