Friday 17 November 2017

Grocery brought into state system

A government worker hands coffee to a shopper inside a Dia a Dia supermarket in Caracas (AP)
A government worker hands coffee to a shopper inside a Dia a Dia supermarket in Caracas (AP)

A Venezuelan supermarket chain that officials accuse of hoarding products will be brought into the state food distribution system.

President Nicolas Maduro said the 35 locations of the Dia a Dia grocery chain will be assimilated into the state grocery agency starting this weekend.

He did not say if the change would be permanent, and stopped short of calling it an expropriation, but accused the chain of "carrying out a war against the people".

Mr Maduro was referring to the government's assertion that right-wing business owners are purposely making shopping a nightmare by hoarding goods to cause the shortages and long queues that are plaguing Venezuela.

Soldiers had occupied the Dia a Dia chain earlier this week and yesterday the attorney general's office announced the continued detention of the firm's director.

Earlier, two executives of Venezuela's largest pharmacy chain, Farmatodo, were detained as part of an investigation by price-control authorities.

Many economists blame price and currency controls for causing the economic distortions plaguing Venezuela at a time when falling oil prices are battering its revenues.

The Caracas chamber of commerce, industry and services rejected government accusations that the private sector is the cause of the severe economic crisis, shortages and soaring inflation in Venezuela.

It said the economic problems are the result of "an economic model, 21st century socialism, that with its controls and obstacles has devastated the country's private productive capacity".

Press Association

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