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Venezuela president orders 60% hike in minimum wage

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has ordered a 60% increase in the country’s minimum wage, effective from Monday.

President, Nicolas Maduro

President, Nicolas Maduro

Including food subsidies, the worst-paid workers will now take home about 200,000 bolivars a month – less than $50 (£38) at the black market rate.

The pay rise is the third this year from Mr Maduro, and aims to benefit government workers and the military.

It comes a month after deadly protests erupted in the country.

Demonstrators first took to the streets on 1 April to demand elections, after the courts tried to strengthen the president’s grip on power.

Marches in various cities descended into clashes between riot police and protesters, which have left 28 people dead.

Observers fear 1 May could bring a spike in unrest, with opposition and pro-government supporters planning rival marches.

Pope Francis has offered to mediate between the Maduro government and its opponents, but the opposition has rejected the overture.

Its leaders say the president has installed a dictatorship, and blame him for Venezuela’s economic crisis.


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