Tags: Venezuela | shops | currency | devaluation

Venezuelan Soldiers Shutter Greedy Shops

Tuesday, 12 Jan 2010 11:10 AM


Government inspectors backed by soldiers have shut more than 70 shops in Venezuela accused of trying to cash in on last week's currency devaluation.

Soldiers have been on the streets to check prices as people queue to buy imports, fearing prices could rise.

Devaluing the bolivar by at least 17% will aid competition and cut reliance on imports, President Hugo Chavez says.

On Sunday he warned that businesses engaging in what he called speculation would be shut down or taken over.

As soon as trading started again after the president's comments a series of supermarkets and other businesses across Venezuela were taken over by government tax inspectors.

State-run news agency ABN said food, car parts and other businesses were temporarily closed "for changing the price of products and for speculation".

The National Guard stepped in at three superstores belonging to the Exito supermarket chain.

State television showed the alleged rises in prices on everything from plasma television screens to packets of cereal.

The bolivar's official exchange rate, which is set by government decree, had been held steady at 2.45 to the US dollar since the last devaluation in March 2005.

To read full BBC story — Go Here Now.



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TheAmericas
Venezuela,shops,currency,devaluation
198
2010-10-12
Tuesday, 12 Jan 2010 11:10 AM
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