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Brazilians Protest Against Reforms To Pension System

Tens of thousands of people have taken part in protests across Brazil against planned reforms to the pension system.

In the capital Brasilia, hundreds occupied the finance ministry, while in Sao Paulo, demonstrators brought traffic to a standstill.

President Michel Temer says capping pension benefits and rising retirement age is needed to fix the country’s finances. Reports say Brazil is going through its worst recession in more than a century. The government plans to set the minimum age of retirement at 65.

The decision has provoked much anger, as many people are able to draw their pension at 54. But President Temer said the reform was needed to prevent a collapse of the pension system.

President Temer said the austerity measures were needed now, in order to prevent a future crisis such as that suffered by Portugal, Spain or Greece.

However, protesters are not convinced by the president’s arguments. The opposition says President Temer is punishing ordinary Brazilians, who are already suffering from a record twelve point six percent unemployment rate, around thirteen million jobless.

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