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Maduro sacks the head of Venezuela's Central Bank

President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday announced the firing of Venezuela's Central Bank chief, amid a deep economic crisis worsened by the recent bungled release of bigger denomination banknotes.

CARACAS: President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday (Jan 22) announced the firing of Venezuela's Central Bank chief, amid a deep economic crisis worsened by the recent bungled release of bigger denomination banknotes.
Speaking on his weekly television program, Maduro announced that Central Bank head Nelson Merentes - who has been under intense pressure over the banknote debacle - has handed in his resignation.
"I would like to thank Nelson Merentes for all the effort he has made at various battlefronts, but I want us to initiate a new stage in the development of the Central Bank of Venezuela," the left-wing Venezuelan leader declared, announcing that he has tapped economist Ricardo Sanguino to succeed Merentes.
He said he has great confidence in Sanguino, 73, a longtime political player who has headed the Budget Committee in Venezuela's National Assembly among other key posts.
Maduro did not directly mention the currency crisis, but speculation has been rife in recent days that the botched notes release could be the final straw, costing Merentes his head.
Venezuela is considered to have the highest inflation rate in the world, making its smaller banknotes virtually worthless.
The 100-bolivar note had been the highest denomination until recently, but was worth only a few US cents.
Caracas released new, bigger denomination banknotes last week to aid citizens struggling with unwieldy wads of cash in an economic crisis.
The notes were meant to be released in December but got delayed, causing chaos as Venezuelans queued up anxiously to change their bills.
Automatic cash machines, in another snafu, were not yet dispensing the new money because they had not been programmed to handle the bigger notes.
Inflation in Venezuela is projected to soar to a mind-boggling 1,660 per cent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Maduro sacks the head of Venezuela's Central Bank Reviewed by Chidinma C Amadi on 7:42 PM Rating: 5

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