Brazil minister calls for patriotism against protests

Rio de Janeiro: Brazil`s Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo appealed to Brazilians` patriotism against the protests and strikes which are occurring all over the country lately, as the FIFA World Cup draws closer, a local daily reported on Thursday.

"All of us want our country`s image abroad to be something we can be proud of. We want to be proud of our country," the minister was quoted as saying by O Globo, according to Xinhua.

The minister said it is necessary to project a good image of the country and accused the workers who are protesting or starting strikes of trying to take advantage of the World Cup to get authorities to agree to their demands.

Cardozo said that Brazilian authorities are prepared to deal with protests and ensure public security to both locals and tourists.

"We have all the conditions to ensure the law is respected, ensure peace and have an excellent World Cup."

In Brazil`s largest city Sao Paulo, which will host six World Cup matches including the opening match on June 12th, a subway worker strike caused chaos on Thursday, as it happened when the bus drivers went on strike last month. The strike may continue Friday.

Rio, the site of seven Cup matches including the finals, faces a public school teachers`, bus drivers` and garbage collectors` protest for better salaries which blocked several downtown streets in the middle of the evening rush hour Thursday. The city also had three days of bus drivers` strikes in May.

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