RIO DE JANEIRO - Police fired tear gas in downtown Rio de Janeiro on Monday when protesters demonstrating against a proposed government spending cap approached the headquarters of state oil company Petrobras, the GloboNews channel said.
The police action marks the first time a new wave of Brazilian street protests, this time against the signature economic policy of the months-old government of President Michel Temer, have turned violent.
The proposed constitutional limit on federal government spending would restrict budget increases to the inflation rate for 20 years. The measure is aimed at closing a budget deficit that exceeded 10 percent of gross domestic product last year and reviving confidence in the midst of a two-year recession that has seen Brazil lose 12 million jobs.
Protesters say the measure will hurt health, education and other social spending.