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无利不起早 这届世界杯巴西输不起

最新订阅内容:英语爱好者摘要:Is Brazil ready for the limelight? 巴西是否做好了成为全球关注焦点的准备?

Is Brazil ready for the limelight?

Organizing the 2014 World Cup is assured to generate massive amounts of publicity for the South American nation. In fact, it already has. But amid the preparations, the country has already discovered that the limelight can be a double-edged sword.

“This should be Brazil’s moment of glory,” says Lourdes Casanova, a senior lecturer of management at Cornell University’s Johnson School and co-author of the recently published The Political Economy of an Emerging Global Power: In Search of the Brazil Dream. “It has an opportunity to show there is more to it than samba, carnival, and beaches. In the past, countries like China, Japan, and Korea have used events like these as a way to tell the world, ‘Here we are, we are one of you. A developed country with the infrastructure that comes with it.’”
“这应该是巴西的荣耀时刻,”康奈尔大学(Cornell University)约翰逊商学院(Johnson School)管理学高级讲师,、新书《一个新兴全球大国的政治经济学:追寻巴西梦》(The Political Economy of an Emerging Global Power: In Search of the Brazil Dream)的作者之一卢尔德o卡萨诺瓦说。“巴西有机会展示,除了桑巴舞,、狂欢节和海滩之外,他们还有许多独特之处。在过去,中国、日本和韩国都曾经以举办体育盛事为契机,告诉全世界,‘我们来了,我们是你们中的一员。一个拥有体面基础设施的发达国家。’”

But with massive construction delays in the run-up to the event, that message seems to sound increasingly hollow. Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported recently that less than one month before kick-off, the majority of the intended projects were unfinished. Time overruns have affected airport transportation systems, fast bus lanes, and no less than three stadium projects.
但鉴于世界杯准备阶段出现了大规模的建设工期延误,这种讯息听起来似乎越来越空洞。巴西《圣保罗页报》(Folha de S. Paulo)日前报道称,距离开赛不到一个月之际,大多数预期完成的项目还没有交工。受工期超时影响的建设工程包括机场交通系统,、快速公交车道,、以及至少三个场馆项目。

Part of the challenge is the sheer scale of the event. The World Cup is hosted by 12 cities that spread out over an area that is roughly the size of the United States. By contrast, the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, arguably an even bigger event, is organized in just one location.

“The idea behind the World Cup was to let the whole country share in it, while providing an opportunity to improve its infrastructure across the board,” says Casanova. “In retrospect, I think that might have been a mistake.”

From the 1980s to the mid-2000s, the Brazilian government was so immersed in paying off its foreign debt that it barely invested in infrastructure, says Casanova. “That deficit cannot be solved in less than 10 years.”

Deadline pressure increases the risk of construction companies cutting corners, leading to unsafe and inhumane working conditions. “With mega events like these, there is always a chance that people end up in forced labor and slave-like conditions,” says Beate Andrees, head of the Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour at the International Labour Organization (ILO), an agency of the United Nations.
交工期限的压力往往会增加施工企业偷工减料的风险,进而导致不安全和不人道的工作条件。“举办这类大型活动时,出现强迫劳动和奴隶般工作条件的可能性总是存在的,”联合国国际劳工组织(ILO)打击强迫劳动特别行动计划(Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour)负责人贝亚特o安德里斯这样说道。

For instance, in the tiny Gulf state of Qatar, host of the 2022 World Cup, almost 1,000 people have died in construction related-accidents since January 2012. The Qatari government has since indicated it will improve the living standards of its migrant workers, but the reputation damage (and loss of life) has been done.

In Brazil so far, there have been eight World Cup-related deaths. But compared to Qatar, the government has been much more responsive in addressing the problem, says Andrees, who just returned from a monitoring visit to the country. “Its inspection programs have identified the issue and prevented it from becoming a major disaster.”

 Additionally, the Brazilian government has compiled a so-called ‘dirty list’ that publicly identifies companies using slave labor. Employers on the list will be banned from government contracts.

A group of 400 private companies have committed to boycott such “dirty companies” as part of a pact against the use of slave labor, says Andrees. “It’s a very effective system that shows the seriousness of the Brazilian government…. It could serve as a model for neighboring countries, such as Peru and Paraguay.”

The government’s best intentions have not been enough to sway the Brazilian people, though. The run up to the World Cup has been bogged down by massive street protests against corruption, the poor quality of public services, and the unequal distribution of profits. In an interview with German magazine Sport Bild, Brazilian football legend Pele has called the preparations “a disgrace,” blaming “the evil people who have stolen all the money.”
不过,仅凭政府的善意还不足以支配巴西人民的行为。针对腐败、劣质公共服务和利润分配不均的大规模街头抗议等问题,已经让世界杯准备工作陷入了泥沼。巴西足球传奇人物贝利在接受德国杂志《体育图片报》(Sport Bild)采访时,巴西足球传奇人物贝利声称,世界杯准备工作“丢人现眼”,他指责“邪恶的人偷走了所有的钱。”

The public backlash has rained on Brazil’s $14 billion parade even before it has started, says Cornell’s Casanova. “If Brazil has one common religion, it is soccer. Yet the latest surveys show that more than half of the population is against the World Cup. The consensus is broken.”

The street protests are especially challenging for Brazil’s ambitions to present itself as an alternative model for economic growth, says Casanova. “Brazil has a system of state capitalism, something in between China and the United States, where the central government has intervened in a number of ways to make society more equal. It has worked for years, but now even the elites are complaining about corruption and inequality.

Controversy aside, the event is certainly not doomed to fail, says Gustavo Koniszczer, managing director at branding firm FutureBrand, which compiles a Country Brand Index. “Yes, the Brazilian government should do a better job explaining the benefits, and yes, under these circumstances that is not going to be easy. But at least people are talking, which is a good starting point for correcting misconceptions and changing the narrative. It’s much harder to address the problem if nobody pays attention.”
撇开争议不谈,这届世界杯肯定不是已经注定了要失败的命运,以编撰国家品牌指数(Country Brand Index)著称的未来品牌战略咨询公司(FutureBrand)执行董事古斯塔沃o康尼斯奇泽尔这样说道。“是的,巴西政府应该更好地解释举办世界杯的好处。没错,在目前这种情况下,这并不是一件容易做到的事情。但至少人们正在谈论讨论这件事,就纠正错误观念,、改变叙事方式而言,这是一个很好的起点。要是没有人关注,解决问题的难度就会大得多。”

From an international point of view, Brazil is already enjoying some of the positive effects of organizing the World Cup, says Koniszczer. In the 2013 Latin American version of the Country Brand Index, Brazil ranks first, after Argentina and Costa Rica. The impact will only increase as the country prepares for the Olympics. “It pretty much guarantees that Brazil will be on everybody’s mind until the end of 2016.”

Such massive publicity will particularly benefit tourism, says Casanova, who is originally from Barcelona, host of the 1992 Olympics. “That event changed the image of my country completely. Before the games, Spain still had trouble profiling itself as a vacation spot. Now, it is one of the top destinations in the world.”

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