Henrique_Meirelles_in_Copenhagen_October_2_2009March 15 - Brazil's former Central Bank President Henrique Meirelles was officially appointed today to head the Olympic Public Authority, the agency set-up to coordinate preparations for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Meirelles, who helped oversee Brazil's biggest economic expansion in decades, will now coordinate Government policies and public works projects for the Games for the new body, Autoridade Pública Olímpica·(PDB).

After meeting with President Dilma Rousseff earlier today, Meirelles said he had accepted the nomination.

As head of the Olympic Public Authority, Meirelles will have a staff of roughly 170 and manage a mult-ibillion dollar budget.

The PDB was the idea of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and is modelled on the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) set-up by London after it won its bid to host the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

The new body is set to have a budget of up to 30 billion reais (£11 billion/$18 billion).

"My job will be to coordinate efforts of all levels of government to ensure the Olympics are the success that Brazil and the whole world expects," said Meirelles, who was part of the delegation that presented Rio's bid to the International Olympic Committee at its Session in Copenhagen in October 2009.

"The event will be symbolic of Brazil's capacity to fill the new space it has created for itself in the world."

Meirelles, 65, who stood down from his role with the Central Bank in December following eight year in charge, a period which coincided with the incredible economic growth of Brazil, is set to be put in charge of the Autoridade Pública Olímpica (PDB) - Olympics Public Authority -

"This is a project that can change the world's perception of Brazil.

"The Olympic Games have the capacity to change Rio de Janeiro."

The Senate is likely to approve his nomination in the coming weeks.

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