Venezuela boosts minimum wage 30 percent in midst of economic crisis

Global Business

Venezuela raised the minimum wage by 30 percent in a move that comes in the midst of soaring inflation, power outages, and widespread shortages.

The oil-exporting country’s sharp economic downturn has lead to increasingly bitter disputes between the government and opposition.

CCTV’s Stephen Gibbs reports.

Venezuela boosts minimum wage 30 percent in midst of economic crisis

Venezuela has raised the minimum wage by 30 percent. The moves comes in the midst of soaring inflation, power outages and widespread shortages. The oil-exporting country's sharp economic downturn is leading to increasingly bitter disputes between the government and opposition. CCTV's Stephen Gibbs reports.

The executive secretary of the opposition coalition in Venezuela was set upon by government supporters after attending a demonstration. They threw paving stones at him and the press.

Anger is on the rise as the steepest recession in the world grips teh country — shortages of basic goods and a crumbling infrastructure has exhausted the population.

There are rolling blackouts across the country, and a combination of a severe drought and insufficient investment means the country’s hydroelectric power is running out.

Civil servants now work a two-day week. The nation has even moved its clocks forward 30 minutes to conserve energy. Inflation runs at an annualized rate of almost 500 percent.

President Nicolas Maduro, while not the most unpopular leader in South America, is blamed for much of these problems. Almost 70 percent of Venezuelans think he should resign.

The opposition says it has collected more than two million signatures to initiate a referendum on whether to cut short his term, which is due to end in 2019.

There is a fear in Venezuela that something is about to give, that the economic decline will worsen dramatically.

The president insists he has a plan to pull the country out of its recession; But his critics are dismissive, saying they’ve heard it all before.