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Two-day week for Venezuela's public workers amid energy crisis

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Two-day week for Venezuela's public workers amid energy crisis



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Venezuela’s socialist government has ordered public workers to do a two-day week, in a bid to save energy.

President Nicolas Maduro had already given most of the country’s state employees Fridays off during April and May – to slash electricity consumption.

Drought-hit dam

Water levels are down to critical levels at Venezuela’s main dam and hydroelectric plant in Guri because of drought.

The dam provides for about two-thirds of energy needs.

Maduro under pressure

Meanwhile, amid a deepening economic crisis, Maduro is coming under mounting pressure.

Opposition leaders are starting the process of seeking a referendum to remove him.

“The Venezuelan people want to change the government but we want to do it peacefully and for peace,” said Jesus Torrealba, Secretary of the Opposition Coalition.

“This is why we have these forms to collect 195,000 signatures, which is the one percent that will then allow us to collect the 20 percent of signatures needed, that is to say four million signatures. We’re sure that we’re going to do this in record time.”

Triple-digit inflation, Soviet-style production shortages and a severe recession are stacking the odds against Maduro.

The opposition is also on a high, after sealing success in legislative elections last year.


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