— -- In a bid to save energy, Venezuelans will have three-day weekends for at least two months starting today, President Nicolas Maduro announced this week.
The OPEC country is largely dependent on hydroelectric power and its supplies have been hard hit by El Nino droughts for several months. Repeated blackouts and shortages in the country have prompted the government to take "urgent measures" to "save the amount of water used."
“I call on families, on the youth, to join this plan with discipline, with conscience and extreme collaboration to confront this extreme situation,” Maduro said in a televised speech.
The measure applies to public sector workers only.
While an extra day off most likely sounds like a good idea to many, Venezuelans are unimpressed with the measure that they believe will paralyze the economy even further.
“Instead of reinforcing our thermoelectric sector, they are paralyzing the country just when we need most need to be productive!” Ramon Muchach, the opposition mayor of the municipality of Chacao, said on Twitter.
The government unveiled other energy-saving measures that will affect the everyday life of its citizens.
“If we don’t reduce residential consumption, all of these measures won’t be enough,” Maduro said. “Clothing and hair dryers use a lot of electricity. Irons, too. We need to create awareness about that.”