BRASILIA, Brazil, June 11 (UPI) -- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff defended her administration's spending on the World Cup in a video address Tuesday night, saying it's a "false dilemma."
"There are people who claim that resources for the World Cup should have been directed to healthcare and education. I hear and respect those opinions, but I don't agree with them. It is a false dilemma," said Rousseff. "From 2010, when construction started, to 2013, the federal, state, and municipal governments invested about $762 billion in education and healthcare so the amount invested in education and healthcare in Brazil was 212 times more than the amount invested in stadiums."
Protests and worker strikes have raged across the country over the spending and lack of decent wages for those preparing Sao Paulo for the games.
Rousseff said that hosting the World Cup is a prestigious honor for the country and that, "It stands above governments, parties, and interests of any group."