Austerity protestors disrupt Rio legislature

Some of the protesters burst into the debating chamber and held up the session for more than an hour, breaking some of the furniture. (Representative Image) Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Nov 09, 2016, 03.04 AM (IST)

Angry anti-austerity demonstrators burst into the regional legislature in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday, causing damage and delaying proceedings.

It was the latest sign of discontent over Brazilian leaders' attempts to push through austerity reforms in the recession-hit country.

Some 200 demonstrators including public sector workers and police rallied outside the regional assembly as lawmakers started to debate spending cuts.

The protesters were angry at measures proposed by Rio governor Luiz Fernando Pezao, a member of the PMDB party of Brazil's new conservative president Michel Temer.

Some of the protesters burst into the debating chamber and held up the session for more than an hour, breaking some of the furniture.

"The invasion of the session of the assembly is a crime and an affront to the democratic state," said the speaker of the assembly, Jorge Picciani.

The Brazilian government froze Rio de Janeiro state's bank accounts on Monday, ordering the struggling state to pay up on $53 million in overdue debt.

Pezao proposes increasing taxes and public transport tariffs and cutting social spending.

Brazil's economic crisis fueled discontent that led to ex-president Dilma Rousseff being driven from office in an impeachment trial in August.

(AFP)