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BRASILIA (AFP).- Despite the economic crisis, Brazil announced Thursday it planned to give workers here a 50-real ($25) monthly stipend for cultural expenses like movies, books or museums.

“In all developed countries, culture plays a key role in the economy,” Culture Minister Marta Suplicy said in an interview on national television.

She recalled that popular former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva created “Bolsa Familia” (Family Grant), the program of conditional cash transfers to the poor which his successor, President Dilma Rousseff, expanded. “Now we are creating food for the soul; Why would the poor not be able to access culture?” the minister said.

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