RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilian police fired tear gas to disperse protesters rallying against a government proposal to limited public spending for the next 20 years to the previous year’s inflation rate.
According to organizers, about 5,000 people gathered in Cinelandia Square in central Rio de Janeiro on Monday to begin a march, carrying signs against the government initiative and calling for President Michel Temer to step down.
Clashes broke out between protesters and police when the demonstrators marched on Avenida Chile, where the headquarters of state oil company Petrobras and the state-owned development bank National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) are located.
The Proposed Amendment to the Constitution (PEC) was approved in the first vote of the Chamber of Deputies. The measure still requires another vote in the lower house before passing to the Senate for final approval.
The amendment would restrict budget increases to the inflation rate for 20 years, starting from 2017. However, in the second half of that period, the limit could be amended.
The adjustment will take effect in 2017, but is not expected to be applied to health, education and social expenditure until 2018.
Organizers in Sao Paulo said that about 15,000 people participated in the demonstration.