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The Globe and Mail

The daunting challenges facing Brazil's growing middle class

The deteriorating infrastructure in the country's major cities are sparking unrest as politicians fail to adequately fund public transportation and medical care

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Rosimeire de Souza and her boyfriend André Tamandaré (second right) have breakfast with Rosimeire's sons Felipe (L) and Mateus (R) at their home in Sao Goncalo July 1, 2013. Over the past decade, Mr. Tamandaré, a 33-year-old high-school dropout, has moved into his own house, got a steady job and earned enough income with his long-time girlfriend, Ms. de Souza, to lead their two kids into Brazil’s fast-rising middle class.

PILAR OLIVARES/REUTERS

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A man stands facing riot police holding shields before the Confederations Cup semi-final soccer match between Spain and Italy at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza. The protests have been largely non-violent and the protesters don’t have a unified agenda or political party of their own.

PAULO WHITAKER/REUTERS

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Police uses a baton to control demonstrators as they protest against the Confederation's Cup and the government of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff. The middle class complains that instead of improving roads, rail systems or schools, tax revenues go toward pensions, public-sector salaries.

UESLEI MARCELINO/REUTERS

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A demonstrator holds a sign reading ‘Health, Education and reform’ next to a graffiti reading ‘There won't be a Cup’, during a protest in central Rio de Janeiro. Brazil’s middle class, earns as little as 1,730 reais (about $808) a month and, unlike the much-smaller upper middle class, relies largely on public transportation, health services and schools.

PILAR OLIVARES/REUTERS

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FIFA President Sepp Blatter (left) stands next to Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff (right) before the Confederations Cup soccer match. Approval ratings are plunging for Ms. Rousseff, who until recently enjoyed some of the highest poll numbers of any elected leader worldwide. Since the protests began, her public support rating has sunk 27 percentage points to 30 per cent.

JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

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Protesters cheer as they hold signs during the Confederations Cup soccer match at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza. The protests have been largely non-violent and the protesters don’t have a unified agenda or political party of their own.

JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

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People wait for medical attention and information about relatives at a public hospital in Recife City. Public hospitals often lack sutures, spare beds and, increasingly, doctors.

RICARDO MORAES/REUTERS

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