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Mayor of Sao Paulo's wife criticized for saying all poor people want is a hug

Jane Sweeney | The Image Bank | Getty Images

The wife of Sao Paulo's mayor has been heavily criticized for saying that poor people want "very little" – suggesting that sometimes a "handshake" or a "hug" would suffice.

The revelations come from an interview with Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo on Sunday -- which included references to wrongdoings of her husband – Joao Doria, a millionaire elected earlier this month to lead one of Brazil's most populated cities.

Bia Doria, a 56-year old artist, complained about the skills of her house employees, but said she feels very close to the most humble. "All my employees lived in shacks and did not have teeth. I got housing for all of them, gave them teeth and a good health plan. They feel happy today," Doria told the Brazilian newspaper.

The publication followed the mayoral election of Sao Paulo,earlier this month, which elected Joao Doria, president of the Doria Group – a communication and marketing company – with 53.29 percent of the votes. He is often compared to U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump for his "healthy" bank accounts,his appearance and for presenting the Brazilian version of "The Apprentice."

Social inequality remains one of the deepest problems in Brazil. According to the latest International Monetary Fund data, the Brazilian economy should close 2016 with an unemployment rate of 11.2 percent, one percentage point above an earlier estimate made in April.

Joao Doria represents the Brazilian Social Democracy Party –the same political party that supported the former President Dilma Rousseff. She was removed from office last September for alleged budget manipulation.