- Title: Venezuela economy to shrink 7-10 pct this year -business chamber
- Date: 9th August 2017
- Summary: CARACAS, VENEZUELA (AUGUST 9, 2017) (REUTERS) GENERAL VIEW OF INTERVIEW WITH CARLOS LARRAZABAL, FEDECAMARAS' PRESIDENT (FEDECAMARAS IS VENEZUELA'S MAIN BUSINESS CHAMBER) (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CARLOS LARRAZABAL, FEDECAMARAS PRESIDENT, SAYING: "We don't agree with the event (opening of new legislative superbody) that took place last July 30. In fact, we formally requested that the government - through a communication we had - to withdraw that event because it was not going to solve the economic problems of the country, rather we believe that it will deepen them. It's now evident, both by national and international opinion, that the National Constituent Assembly was not chosen according to the Constitution and the process of fraud that occurred is also evident." CARACAS, VENEZUELA (RECENT) (REUTERS) MEMBERS OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY GATHERED FOR INAUGURATION AND CHANTING (UNINTELLIGIBLE) CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT DELCY RODRIGUEZ IN THE MIDDLE OF MEMBERS CHANTING AND CLAPPING
- Embargoed: 23rd August 2017 19:54
- Keywords: Venezuela economy head Fedecamaras Reuters Latin America Investment Summit Caracas
- Location: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- City: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA0016TFR2GZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: AUDIO AS INCOMING
Venezuela's asphyxiating economy will contract between 7 and 10 percent this year, the head of the country's main business chamber Fedecamaras said on Wednesday (August 9) at the Reuters Latin America Investment Summit in Caracas.
Fedecamaras' president said that leftist President Nicolas Maduro's new, globally-condemned legislative superbody would only deepen a severe economic crisis, in which millions are suffering food and medicine shortages. The 60-year-old U.S.-educated businessman said the country needed to change its socialist model.
Fedecamaras has long been at odds with the government after its president at the time, Pedro Carmona, briefly became interim president of the country in a 2002 coup against late socialist leader Hugo Chavez.
Unpopular President Nicolas Maduro blames the crisis on an "economic war" by the business elite as well as Washington. The president says the assembly is necessary to achieve peace in Venezuela.
For Larrazabal, the "economic war" is in fact against the private sector rather than waged by it. According to his records, since Hugo Chavez took office in 1999, the government has expropriated more than 1,500 businesses and 5.2 million hectares of land "which today are not productive."
Although there have been no official figures for almost two years, the economy contracted 18.6 percent in 2016, the worst in 13 years, according to data obtained by Reuters in early 2017.
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