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Strike, protests affect services at Brazilian consulates in US, Europe

Employees of Brazil's consulates have begun a two-day strike affecting visa services in major cities in the United States and Europe, just weeks before the World Cup.

The local employees in Brazilian diplomatic offices are hoping to pressure the government to increase their wages and compensation.

Brazil's Foreign Ministry said the Tuesday-Wednesday strike is only slowing operations at nine consulates and one embassy, but did not say which ones.

The Association of Local Employees at Brazilian Foreign Missions said that strikes or protests were hitting 17 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, London, Paris and Rome.

Some consulates posted a message on their sites, saying they were only responding to emergency requests made by Brazilian nationals.