Venezuela’s president has ordered government workers to work only two days a week in order to conserve power and to prevent blackouts.
The order means that government offices in the South America nation will be closed five days a week for next few weeks – giving workers a five-day weekend.
“The public sector will work Monday and Tuesday while we go through these critical and extreme weeks where we are doing everything to save Guri,” President Nicolas Maduro said.
Guri is a reservoir that supplies a hydroelectric dam; water levels in the reservoir are so low that power cannot be generated to the levels that are needed. Guri supplies about 75 percent of the electricity to Venezuela’s capital of Caracas.
Maduro also ordered all schools in the nation to close on Fridays in an effort to limit electricity use. The president is trying to maintain what he calls social peace in order to keep blackouts from sparking riots that could end his government.
The two-day work week is only Maduro’s latest effort to reduce electricity use. Many Venezuelans have been experiencing rolling pre-programmed blackouts deliberately created by the government in another effort to save the country’s ailing power grid, Bloomberg reported. In an earlier effort to save the grid, Maduro ordered clocks moved forward half an hour to save daylight.
Venezuela’s electric gird is breaking down because the nation is simply out of money, primarily because oil prices are too low to support Maduro’s socialist policies, Value Walk reported. The nation is also experiencing hyperinflation. Some Venezuelans are now using wheelbarrows of money to pay for basic goods like groceries.
The largest bill in Venezuela, the 100 bolivar note, will now pay for one loose cigarette, Bloomberg reported.
Maduro has another plan to get the lights back on in Venezuela. He is asking the United Nations for public works construction help to get the grid back up and running, Bloomberg reported.
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