This story was originally published by Fusion and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
Venezuela is ordering businesses, factories, government buildings, and offices to shut down for an entire week as an extreme energy-saving measure in an oil-rich country that’s running out of power.
The forced shutdown, which begins next Monday, was announced by President Nicolas Maduro during an “anti-imperialist” rally. Initially, it was ordered for government offices and schools, but on Tuesday it was expanded to most of the private sector.
Next Thursday and Friday are already national holidays for Easter, but the government’s measure will extend the holiday for a full week — something that many in the business community object to.
“We are talking to our lawyers to see if this applies to us, too,” said Clariana Boccardo, the owner of a bakery in southeastern Caracas. “But it would be very damaging for us, because if those days count as holidays, we’d also have to pay our workers 150 percent more.”
Maduro said the work stop will save the country up to 40 percent in electricity output for the week. The South American nation dep... Read more