Sibylla Brodzinsky “Venezuela president declares economic emergency as inflation hits 141%” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/16/venezuela-president-declares-economic-emergency-as-inflation-hits-141
Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro has declared an economic emergency, seeking broad powers to address a crippling recession in the oil-dependent country after official figures showed that inflation has spiralled to 141%.
The vaguely worded decree would grant Maduro extraordinary powers for two months to rule on economic matters but must be approved by the National Assembly, now under control of the opposition, where he gave his state of the nation address late Friday.
In a rambling three-hour speech which swung from conciliatory to defiant, Maduro at one point dared the opposition to privatise public housing, saying they would have to topple him first, and later called for “national unity” to face the economic crisis.
The central bank, which had not published economic statistics since the end of 2014, said on Friday that Venezuela’s economy shrank 4.5% in the first nine months last year and that inflation hit 141.5 percent. Maduro called the figures “catastrophic”.
Venezuela, which depends on oil for 95% of its foreign currency, saw its income drop more than 62% due to the sharp downturn in oil prices, Maduro said. The oil price settled at below $30 a barrel for the first time in 12 years on Friday*1 .
All that has led to shortages of basic goods and a slump in the purchasing power of most Venezuelans.
*1:See Rupert Neate “US stock markets take a major fall as Dow reaches lowest level since August” http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/15/us-stock-markets-fall-dow-oil-prices-china
*2:http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20070604/1180952185 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20070812/1186939206 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20070817/1187330041 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20070824/1187979598 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20080930/1222748469 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20110326/1301089033 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20111110/1320856881 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20130306/1362532759
*3:See Sibylla Brodzinsky “Venezuela elections: socialists dealt a blow as opposition wins landslide” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/07/venezuela-elections-socialists-dealt-a-blow-as-opposition-wins-landslide Sibylla Brodzinsky “Venezuela's Chavistas and newly elected opposition head for deadlock” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/08/venezuelas-chavistas-and-newly-elected-opposition-head-for-deadlock