In Venezuela, the ornaments glow … by their absence
CARACAS (EFE) – Christmas will be for most Venezuelans, and as never before, a synonym for savings, it will be wrapped in a hyperinflation spiral, with a price index that closes 2018 at 4.500.000%, and painstaking salaries, which will lead to avoid the luxury of parties and gifts.
November is now and Christmas decorations shine, but by their absence, while many citizens are joking about the grams of ham or cheese that they can buy when collecting their bonuses, it is not enough for nothing, except that few children receive gifts, which Jesus Christ is asking.
The holiday will come four months after President Nicolás Maduro announced a package of economic resources that included a pay rise 35 times higher than the previous one, monetary reconversion and a new taxation policy.
Towards the ravine
For economists, traders and leaders opposed to the regime, this package has accelerated the collapse of the Venezuelan economy into a gorge.
"This is the first Christmas after the salary has been devastated," said EFE director Alejandro Grisanti, director of Ecoanalitica, who shares the opportunity to enjoy this holiday between families who receive money and those who do not.
A family that does not receive remittances from a relative who is out of the country has a "zero saving ability" and can only be careful, "increasing the greatest consumption" and buy "permanent goods that allow them to survive what they can be first quarter of the year. "
According to Grisanti it will be "very difficult Christmas, very sad, without premier and without hallacas, which is a dish that never fails in lunches on December 24 and 31, a bread roll filled with different types of meat, olives, capers and raisins, ingredients that they are not available or are available at unreachable prices for the majority.
The problem is that inflation, which does not stop, grows at an accelerated pace, because what was worth 1 bolívar at the beginning of the year will cost PLN 45,000 on December 31.
Many companies will not be able to open the door in January. Ecoanalítica calculates that if this hyperinflation is extended by another six months, at least 30% of companies that operate today will stop doing so.
"This, of course, translates into wage disruption, the destruction of formal jobs and a further decline in Venezuelan wages," he says.
The Parliament's Finance Committee, which has the majority of objections, has calculated that Maduro's package of measures is multiplied by "about 10" each month, although from November 15 and before the upcoming Christmas, this increase will increase and be even greater.
"Next year inflation will be millions without a doubt, because this speed is unbalanced from every point of view, now the Venezuelan family is desperate," said one member of the parliamentary committee, Angel Alvarado.
The one who earns the minimum wage, which today stands at 1,800 bolívares ($ 27 at the official exchange rate), is "just enough to go" in public transport, says the economist deputy who also rejects the bolivar bonds that the government will eventually deposit. to the Venezuelan group, it also does not help ease the crisis.
"The increase in wages at this time does not solve the socio-economic situation of the Venezuelan people, and at this point the Venezuelan family is desperate, depleted, does not know what to do," says Alvarado, who believes that the country is going "path of destruction."
These holidays can be terrible, but for Parliament the next one will be much worse if the "model of socialism" is maintained, to which they attribute the economic disaster of the country.
"There is no way to explain Venezuela's economic catastrophe, but because of the great incompetence or great potential of evil of those who rule (…) It is difficult to explain to the world that the country with the largest oil reserves, the country with the most important gas reserves in the western hemisphere "There is no gas to cook," complains the deputy.
On the other hand, Maduro promises to pay bonuses on time and asks people to save money in gold and petro, cryptocurrencies launched in December last year, to increase their economic initiatives, which according to their opponents have no support and no legality.