Arab Today, arab today fragile economy awaits chavez successor
Last Updated : GMT 21:36:03
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Fragile economy awaits Chavez successor

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Fragile economy awaits Chavez successor

Caracas - AFP

A customer entered Gustavo Arbelo's grocery store in a blue-collar Caracas neighborhood, asking if he had any rice or flour. No, he said, pointing to bare shelves. Toilet paper? He once had two months' worth of it stocked up. "Today I don't even have one roll," the bespectacled, mustachioed shopkeeper said, checking his books behind the counter in the hillside Petare neighborhood. "We've had shortages of every product," Arbelo, 55, said. "There's no rice; there's no detergent; there's no soap." Such chronic shortages of basic goods plagued Venezuelans for years under late leader Hugo Chavez, who was in power for 14 years until he died last month. And it will be one of the slew of economic problems that will be inherited by whomever wins the presidential election on Sunday, with his political heir, acting President Nicolas Maduro, favored to defeat opposition leader Henrique Capriles. Through popular social programs funded with petrodollars, Chavez was able to drastically reduce poverty in his country of 29 million people. But despite an oil bonanza, with the country sitting on the world's biggest proven reserves of crude, the economy remains fragile. "As long as we have the same price for oil, the government will have wiggle room," Jesus Casique, economics professor at Preston University, told AFP. "Venezuela is vulnerable. It's an economy that depends on black gold." Chavez imposed currency controls in 2003 to stop capital flight. Price controls were also set. But analysts say the measures failed to solve the problem and made Venezuela rely on imports to fill supermarket shelves. On top of that, sporadic power outages affect Venezuelans, inflation remained high at 20.1 percent last year, public debt reached $150 billion, or half the country's gross domestic product. The head of the Venezuelan chamber of commerce, Jorge Botti, said 200,000 companies shut their doors in the past decade while 1,600 others were expropriated by the state. "I think the biggest defect of Chavismo was that it stifled Venezuelan creativity," Botti told AFP last week, adding that the next president should encourage dialogue between the government and business leaders. A report by investor services firm Ecoanalitica said that the economy would either contract or grow by two percent this year, well below the government's six percent target. The government took action in February, devaluing the national currency, the bolivar, by more than 30 percent from 4.3 to 6.3 to the dollar, a move that allowed Venezuela to slash its public deficit by half to 7.0 percent of GDP. At a campaign rally on Tuesday, Maduro promised to raise the monthly minimum wage -- which stands at 2,047 bolivars, or $325 -- by up to 45 percent this year if he is elected. Capriles has proposed a 40 percent wage hike. But in the streets of Caracas, Venezuelans complain that food shortages continue while prices have soared in stores. "Things are tough. Everything is very expensive. If we can't afford chicken are we going to have to eat sardines?" said Hervi Blanco, a 50-year-old motorcycle taxi driver who supports Maduro. Maduro has pledged to continue his mentor's selft-styled socialist revolution, blaming the problems on an "economic war" waged by the opposition with the backing of the United States. Capriles, governor of Miranda state, has suggested that he would follow Brazil's moderate socialism, progressively dismantle the price and currency controls, stop expropriations and attract private investments. "Price controls have caused high inflation and exchange rate controls have sparked capital flight," Casique, the professor, said. "They did not generate the planned benefits or goals." The government, he added, must also clean up its finances and stop spending more than it generates in revenue. "Chavismo saw social achievements, but they were partial," Asdrubal Oliveros, head of the investor services firm Ecoanalitica, told AFP. "If corrective measures are not taken, its accomplishments will be lost in this crisis that is beginning."

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today fragile economy awaits chavez successor Arab Today, arab today fragile economy awaits chavez successor

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017

GMT 06:15 2017 Monday ,27 February

Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017
Arab Today, arab today 17.4 million tourists visit UAE in 2016

GMT 00:47 2017 Monday ,27 February

17.4 million tourists visit UAE in 2016
Arab Today, arab today Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career

GMT 06:07 2017 Monday ,27 February

Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career
Arab Today, arab today UN envoy sets out framework

GMT 07:25 2017 Monday ,27 February

UN envoy sets out framework
Arab Today, arab today Ayat Abaza says state TV presented major stars

GMT 03:52 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Ayat Abaza says state TV presented major stars

GMT 06:01 2017 Sunday ,26 February

BRIC funds see inflows amid emerging equity boom

GMT 05:43 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Al-Gergawi quits Dubai Holding to focus on govt role

GMT 05:14 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Oil prices to average $50-$70 through 2022

GMT 14:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

China overtakes US as Germany’s top trade partner

GMT 05:53 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Global sovereign debt to hit new all-time high

GMT 05:17 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Oil world cautious on Trump’s next move

GMT 09:59 2017 Friday ,24 February

Baidu revenue slips anew amid ad clampdown
View News in Arabic - Business: نفط وبتروكيماويات
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Penguins in the age of dinos

GMT 11:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Penguins in the age of dinos
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today 'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union

GMT 08:54 2017 Saturday ,25 February

'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Reasons for the delay 'On the Stairs of Servants'

GMT 06:42 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Reasons for the delay 'On the Stairs of Servants'
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 07:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Ola Ghanem hopes to work with M.Ramadan

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 18:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Fadi explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 10:51 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Pigs with edited genes show resistance

GMT 14:04 2017 Friday ,24 February

Messi visit will contribute in tourism

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday