Venezuela lops five zeros off bolívar to halt economic collapse

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Gideon Long, Andean Correspondent

Venezuela resorted to desperate measures on Monday to arrest an economic collapse, lopping five zeros off the bolívar, devaluing it by 95 per cent and tying it to an obscure state-run cryptocurrency.

Opponents of the socialist government of Nicolás Maduro called for strikes and protests on Tuesday, when shops and financial institutions reopen after a bank holiday was used to put the drastic reform into effect.

As it tries to curb hyperinflation — which, by some measurements, is the worst in Latin American history — the government is also slashing fuel subsidies and raising the minimum wage by 3,000 per cent.