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Brazilian protests continue despite government concessions

Al Ahed news

Tens of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets on Wednesday for a crackdown on corruption and better public services, just a day after Congress conceded to some of the key demands of protesters.

In Belo Horizonte, authorities said 40,000 people gathered to demand improved education and healthcare while Brazil hosted the Confederations Cup semi-final soccer game between Brazil and Uruguay in a warm-up for the 2014 World Cup.

Youths threw stones at police who used teargas to stop marchers from reaching the stadium, while a banner hung from a bridge read “FIFA go home”.

In Brasilia, a peaceful protest took place against the billions of dollars Brazil has spent building new stadiums for the global tournaments, in which protesters argued that funds should have been used to improve public services including health, education and transport.

On Wednesday, the Brazilian Senate had approved a bill for stricter sentences on corruption, one day after it rejected a constitutional amendment that limited the power of federal prosecutors to investigate crimes, which was considered by protesters as a move by politicians to avoid corruption probes.

“Our representatives are listening to the people now. We are creating a new political consciousness,” said Amanda Caetano, spokeswoman for a group in Brasilia demanding an end to the privileges enjoyed by politicians.

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