venezuela\s maduro hikes minimum wage by 30
Last Updated : GMT 22:38:38
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Venezuela\'s Maduro hikes minimum wage by 30%

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Venezuela\'s Maduro hikes minimum wage by 30%

Caracas - AFP

Protest-hit Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has raised the minimum wage by 30 percent, after a 10-percent hike in January, chasing the country's 59.3 percent inflation rate -- Latin America's highest. "I have decided on an increase in the national minimum wage and pensions of 30 percent to get them where they need to be for life in our country," the president said, in an address to workers at the presidential palace. Maduro promised another increase for later this year. "I hope that by year's end, we will be choking off and overcoming ... inflation," he stressed. At the government-set exchange rate, the new minimum monthly salary would be the equivalent of $657 a month; but the black market rate for the greenback would give workers closer to $67 a month. Forty-one people have been killed and more than 700 injured in over two months of anti-government unrest as angry students and others denounce rampant crime, inflation, widespread shortages of basic goods and other economic woes. Maduro was narrowly elected to succeed longtime leader Hugo Chavez last year after the elected socialist and populist firebrand died of cancer. Most economic analysts blame the country's problems on a decade of rigid currency and price controls, as well rising dependence on imports and debt costs -- a lackluster record for a country that controls the world's largest proven oil reserves.

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