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Brazil government freezes Rio state accounts

By on November 10, 2016

People sit outside a striking bank in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. The strike that began one month ago to demand a wage increase of nearly 15 percent, on Wednesday completed one month, making it the longest bank workers strike in 12 years. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

People sit outside a striking bank in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016 (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

RIO DE JANEIRO — For the second time in a week, the Brazilian government has frozen the accounts of the state of Rio de Janeiro because of a large outstanding debt.

The state’s finance secretariat said Thursday the accounts will remain frozen until it pays 140 million real ($42 million) to the national government.

The state’s accounts had only just been unfrozen after repayment of an earlier 170 million real (US$53 million) debt.

The state declared a state of financial emergency ahead of Rio’s 2016 Olympic Games in August. That allowed the state to shift funds. Still, many public workers haven’t been paid in months.

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