- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Venezuela is temporarily instituting a two-day workweek for state employees in an effort to save its power grid.

Vice President Aristobulo Isturiz said civil servants should come into work only on Mondays and Tuesdays until the crisis is over, BBC reported. The measure will reportedly be in place for at least two weeks, affecting more than two million public sector workers.

“There will be no work in the public sector on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, except for fundamental and necessary tasks,” Mr. Isturiz said.

Venezuela is facing a major drought, which has reduced water levels to a record low at the hydroelectric Guri dam, BBC reported.

“We are requesting international help, technical and financial aid to help revert the situation,” said President Nicolas Maduro. “We are managing the situation in the best possible way while we wait for the rains to return.”

Last week, the government announced it was introducing power cuts for up to four hours a day and was also considering putting the clocks forward by a half-hour to reduce demand for electricity in the early evening.

The opposition has accused the government of mismanaging the crisis. Local press reported instances of protests and looting in areas being affected by electricity rationing, Bloomberg reported.

Mr. Maduro called for “social peace” during the power crisis.

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