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Brazil finance minister: Government unable to cut taxes for public transport

Brazil's Finance Minister Guido Mantega speaks during a news conference in Brasilia May 29, 2013. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
Brazil's Finance Minister Guido Mantega speaks during a news conference in Brasilia May 29, 2013. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's federal government is unable to lower taxes for public transportation any further, Finance Minister Guido Mantega said on Wednesday as protests against a recent increase in bus fares and shoddy public services spread nationwide.

The minister's remarks poured cold water on speculation that President Dilma Rousseff would provide financial help to municipalities trying to appease protesters who demand a reduction in transportation costs.

(Reporting by Luciana Otoni; Writing by Walter Brandimarte)

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