5-speed listening (Level 4)

Venezuela introduces 2-day working week






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Venezuela has taken a big step to deal with the country's energy problems. It told all state employees to work just two days a week. They were already on four days a week after Fridays became a no-work day. Around 2.8 million public workers will now have five days off a week. The president said: "We are going to have Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays as non-working days." Employees will still be paid in full, despite the shorter working week.

The government blames the crisis on droughts and on El Nino. The Guri region, home to the nation's biggest dam, was compared to a desert. Critics say bad management, a lack of investment and corruption are to blame. People are facing daily disruptions to their lives. Women have to use hair dryers less and shopping malls have to use their own electricity generators. Electricity is being rationed and the clocks went back to provide more evening sunlight.

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