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29/1/2020  
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SOCIETY AND CONSUMER
Energy crisis in Venezuela

Venezuela introduces two-day working week to save energy crisis


Venezuela´s socialist government has imposed a two-day working week for public sector workers as a temporary measure to help it overcome a serious energy crisis.
Chi 27/4/2016 Send to a friend
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Vice-President Aristobulo Isturiz announced on national television that civil servants should turn up for work only on Mondays and Tuesdays until the crisis was over. The measures that he has given affect two million public sector workers.

Venezuela is facing a major drought, which has dramatically reduced water levels at its main hydroelectric dam. But the opposition has accused the government of mismanaging the crisis.

President Nicolas Maduro had already given most of Venezuela´s 2.8 million state employees Fridays off during April and May to cut down on electricity consumption.

"From tomorrow, for at least two weeks, we are going to have Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays as non-working days for the public sector," Mr Maduro said on his weekly television program.

Drought has reduced water levels at Venezuela´s main dam and hydroelectric plant in Guri to near-critical levels. The dam provides for about two-thirds of the nation´s energy needs.

Water shortages and electricity cuts have added to the hardships of Venezuela´s 30 million people, already enduring a brutal recession, shortages of basics from milk to medicnes, soaring prices, and long lines at shops.

"We are requesting international help, technical and financial aid to help revert the situation," he said. "We are managing the situation in the best possible way while we wait for the rains to return."

"Several countries in the region have been affected by the drought, caused by El Nino. But Venezuela has the highest domestic consumption of energy."

The government has already adopted a number of other measures to try to deal with the crisis. In February, shopping centres were told to reduce their opening hours and generate their own energy.

The power shortages have deepened the country´s serious economic crisis. Many businessmen and opposition politicians blame the energy crisis and shortages of basic goods on government economic mismanagement.

They say tough currency controls introduced in 2003 by the late president, Hugo Chavez, have only made this worse. But Venezuela´s economy has also been hit by a sharp fall in the price of its main export, oil.


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