Fridays off in Venezuela to ease energy crisis

Employees in Venezuela will get every Friday off in a bid to save electricity. President Nicolas Maduro said the long weekends will apply in the months of April and May […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Employees in Venezuela will get every Friday off in a bid to save electricity.

President Nicolas Maduro said the long weekends will apply in the months of April and May in the country hit by blackouts.

It is part of the government’s emergency plan to fight the power crunch as a result of a prolonged drought pushing water levels to a critical threshold at hydropower plants, which it relies on for around 70% of its energy needs.

The new strategy will include asking large energy users such as hotels and shopping centres to generate their own power for a few hours a day and heavy industries to cut usage by 20%.

Mr Maduro said on state television: “This plan for 60 days, for two months, will allow the country to get through the most difficult period with the most risk. I call on families, on the youth, to join this plan with discipline, with conscience and extreme collaboration to confront this extreme situation.”

The announcement comes after the country was shut down for a week during the Easter break last month, with workers getting an extra three days off.