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Venezuelan crisis hits fuel and currency

Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 01:25

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has devalued the country's currency and raised fuel prices. It's all part of the ruling Socialist party's efforts to turnaround one of the world's worst performing economies, as Joel Flynn reports.

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The queues grow at a Venezuelan gas station. Drivers here are desperate to fill their tanks before a new pricing scheme is in place. That followed President Nicolas Maduro's revelation he was devaluing the country's currency, as well as raising fuel prices. SOUNDBITE: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, saying (Spanish): "The secure system that is running at 6.30 bolivars per dollar - we will put it to 10 bolivars to the dollar. And we will have as our mission to protect our people in fundamental issues of health, medicine - the missions and large missions of food." The move is supposed to shore up finances in a country with the one of the worst inflation rates in the world. But it also means gas prices will rise at a time when millions of people are struggling to make ends meet. SOUNDBITE: Caracas Resident, Dennis Portillo, saying (Spanish): "The price rise seems crazy to me, because they should have raised it bit by bit. The Venezuelan people are living in a time of economic and social crisis." SOUNDBITE: Caracas Resident, Mike Jacoveli saying (Spanish): "The government should be using our petrol taxes to fix the roads, not for social programmes. We're the ones using the fuel, so they should take care of us first." Maduro's reforms come just two months after the ruling socialist party were heavily beaten in parliamentary elections. They also risk fuelling triple-digit inflation. With no end in sight for Venzeula's crippling economic crisis, it's likely these won't be the last reforms the country faces.

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Venezuelan crisis hits fuel and currency

Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 01:25