The Strategist

Fridays Are Now Weekends in Venezuela

04/07/2016 - 15:25

Venezuelan authorities declared Friday public holidays for the next two months. The decision was taken within a plan to reduce energy consumption, which also stipulates that hotels and shopping malls use their own power generators. Such problems in Venezuela are linked with severe drought - a big part of the electricity is produced by HPP.ns ordered to to relax on Fridays.

Jonathan Alvarez C via flickr
Jonathan Alvarez C via flickr
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro proclaimed Friday non-working days for the next two months. This decision was made in order to save electricity. "We are going to have long weekends," - Mr. Maduro said on Wednesday on state television. During speech, he presented this action as part of a 60-day plan to save energy. Among other measures are cessation of work for the week after Easter and prescription to some hotels and shopping malls to use their own power generators for nine hours a day.

According to Mr. Maduro, heavy industry should also reduce power consumption by 20%. "This 60-days plan designed for two months will allow the country to go through the most difficult period of greatest risk. I encourage families, young people to join the plan and confront the extreme situation with discipline, conscientiousness and increased cooperation", - he said.

Problems with electricity are primarily associated with severe drought - 60% of power produced in Venezuela come from hydroelectric power stations. According to critics, the issue is also about lack of investment and resources to maintain an appropriate infrastructure. The Venezuelan opposition said that the introduction of the four-day working week is a reckless decision taken during recession, shortage of food and medicines and three-digit inflation. As stated by a member of the City Council of Caracas Jesús Armas, " the best way to resolve the crisis for Maduro is to reduce production in the country. Friday will be free for bread and circuses."

Many Venezuelans were quite surprised by the decision. Many are asking on Twitter whether it was a joke. People are concerned about work of schools, supermarkets and public institutions. Nicolas Maduro said that the details of the energy saving plan will be presented later this week.


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