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Brazil outlines $2.3 billion in public spending for Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil's government on Tuesday issued its first estimate of public spending on projects related to Rio de Janeiro's 2016 Olympic Games, though the 5.6 billion reals ($2.3 billion) price tag is set to swell as more projects receive approval.

The initial estimate from Brazil's Public Olympic Authority (APO) includes spending by federal, state and municipal governments for 24 approved projects carried out through both public-private partnerships and by the government alone.

The number does not include spending on 28 planned projects that still require approval.

The total estimate, which is due to be revised in March, also excludes projects such as airports and pollution control, which are not dedicated strictly to holding the Olympics.

Last week, officials said the operating budget for the Olympics and Paralympic Games in 2016 had jumped 27 percent from prior estimates to 7 billion reals, citing factors such as inflation and costs for new technology.

The operating budget was originally set to include up to 1.4 billion reals in public funds, but officials later reduced that figure to zero in response to public outcry over the high cost of stadiums and other projects required by the Olympics and 2014 World Cup, which kicks off in June.

APO officials contradicted that pledge on Tuesday, saying Brazil's government could indeed take on some of those costs if necessary.

The Rio 2016 organizing committee estimated the games would cost 28.8 billion reals when it bid to host the event in 2009.

($1 = 2.41 Brazilian reals)

(Reporting by Pedro Fonseca; Writing by Asher Levine; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Amanda Kwan)

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