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Brazil: Oil royalties for health, education

September 9, 2013 GMT

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Brazil’s president has signed into law a measure that reserves 75 percent of new oil royalties from a massive offshore find for education.

The bill signed by President Dilma Rousseff on Monday also earmarks 25 percent of royalties from the so-called “pre-salt” finds for improving health care.

The oil reserve off Brazil’s southeastern coast could contain up to 100 billion barrels of oil, making it the biggest find in the Western Hemisphere in decades.

The government estimates the total earmarked for education and health care could add up to $49 billion during the next decade.

The measure had been stuck in Congress, but it gained new impetus after widespread anti-government protests in June. They called for quick improvements to Brazil’s public services, including schools and hospitals.