Brazil's World Cup misery could even affect President Rousseff's re-election
Brazil’s crushing defeat at the hands Germany and the Netherlands at the just ended 2014 FIFA World Cup has rocked the nation. And it could even affect Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s chances for re-election in October.
Rousseff once enjoyed a popularity rating of about 80%. This is now down to 40%.
According to a survey of eligible voters by the Brazilian polling firm Datafolha, 38% said they would vote for Rousseff in the Oct. 5 election. But this rate has been falling, and where Rousseff’s popularity will be in three months is hard to predict.
The Brazilian economy has been unable to pull out of low growth. Its gross domestic product increased by just 1.9% on the year in the first quarter of 2014.
The World Cup tournament began on June 12, and took much of the national attention away from politics and the economy. But the country’s loss to Germany could bring this attention back to the government’s poor handling of various issues, such as slow preparations for the World Cup, the country’s high inflation rate and the fact that Brazil has spent more than $10 billion on World Cup-related investments.
As one Brazilian office worker said: “A lot of money was spent on building stadiums, but it ended up for nothing. I think there will be more anti-government protests.”
At Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, where Brazil lost to Germany, spectators booed Rousseff after the game.
Also, later that day, buses were set ablaze and shops were looted in Sao Paulo and its surrounding areas. If security deteriorates, the government will face even further criticism.
When during the game it looked that Brazil would not be able to come back from Germany’s offensive onslaught, Rousseff wrote on a microblogging site that she was very sad and rallied the nation to get back on their feet and start over, calling for people to be calm. But it is unknown how Brazilians will react in the weeks to come.