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Detroit appoints new financial manager

  • The American city of Detroit appointed an emergency financial manager on Thursday in the country's biggest state takeover in 20 years.

    Kevin Orr, a lawyer who worked on car company Chrysler's bankruptcy, is set to take over the running of the city.

    In recent years, Detroit's finances have plummeted due to a decline in the once flourishing car industry, mismanagement and corruption.

    The city is running an estimated $300 million deficit with debts of around $14 billion.

    Orr was appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, who described the situation as a "crisis".

    He will have the power to override decisions taken by elected officials, rewrite labor contracts, privatize services and sell assets.

    Detroit's population has more than halved from its peak of two million in the 1950s. Today it is the 18th largest city in the U.S. with 700,000 inhabitants.

    In addition, unemployment rates in Detroit run higher compared to elsewhere in the country. The rate stands at 18.2 percent compared with a national average of 7.7 percent.

    Explore the satellite map of Detroit, visit  Detroit Map