Caracas – Economic Minister Luis Salas announced on Friday that Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro declared a 60-day nationwide state of economic emergency plan. The Minister highlighted that the country has been facing what the government perceives as an economic war against Venezuelans and that the plan aims to take drastic and serious measures to restore economic security.
The country’s vice president for the economy, Luis Salas said that economic emergency plan is intended to protect the people from existing threats. The plan involves making resources from the 2015 financial year available for extra funds to health, education, food, and housing; designing and implementing measures to prevent tax evasion.
The decree also empowers the president and political party allies to adopt what they consider are appropriate measures to effectively address the causes of the severe economic situation the country has been facing, which the government says have been induced by political opponents inside and outside the nation. Venezuela has been dealing with a soaring inflation of 140% – as recently published by the Central Bank after more than a year without releasing official economic data-, basic goods shortages, a severe recession and big drop in foreign reserves triggered by a steep decline in oil prices. And a lot of crime and violence.
Those measures include giving the authorities special temporary powers to increase production and ensure access to key goods by taking command of companies’ resources, and to impose currency controls.
The release of the government’s official gazette that declared the new measures taken by the Venezuelan government came just hours before Maduro was expected to deliver his annual address, which began around 5 p.m. local time.
The president gave his speech today to a congress controlled by the opposition for the first time in 17 years. That will be the first face-to-face encounter in the National Assembly since the opposition took control of the legislature last week.