Caption:NEW YORK, NY - JULY 28: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks to the media following a meeting with UN chief Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York on July 28, 2015 in New York City. Maduro is in New York to speak with the UN about his country's escalating border dispute with Guyana. (Photo : Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Venezuela opens the year with a crisis to face.
Things are not looking good for the Venezuelan economy as President Nicolas Maduro has declared a 60-day economic emergency following a 4.5% contraction acquired over the first nine months of 2015, according to a report by BBC.
The same report notes that Maduro will govern Venezuela, as decreed, for two months.
The announcement on Venezuela's economic emergency was declared hours before Maduro delivered the State of the Nation address to the Congress for the first time - since his
"centre-right opponents took control of the legislature."
Generally, the decree states its control on Venezuelan businesses, industrial productivity and on electronic currency transactions. Moreover, it declares tax increases and "puts emergency measures in place to pay for welfare services and food imports."
A report by Fox News Latino furthers that the measure aims to "protect the people from existing threats,"as per Venezuelan vice president for the economy Luis Salas, pos-decree publication in the Official Gazette.
Moreover, the said decree purports to "adopt appropriate measures to effectively address the exceptional, extraordinary and cyclical situation that the Venezuelan economy is suffering," Salas says as per Fox News Latino. The decree is also reported to be aimed at mitigating "the effects of induced inflation, speculation, fictitious currency value, the sabotage of goods and service distribution systems," as well as "offsetting the impact of the oil price war," Salas adds as per the same report.
The decree maintains to address the high inflation, recession and big drop in foreign reserves - overall triggered by a steep decline in oil prices.
According to BBC, Venezuela has the world's biggest oil reserves. Oil exports account for as much as 95% of Venezuela's revenue. However, the past 18 months brought a huge fall in oil prices in the past and therefore slashing its revenues by 60%.
The Venezuelan Central Bank reports that annual inflation has reached 141% in September 2014.
Maduro and Salas have campaigned for the need to maintain and protect the social programmes established by former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez due to the drop in global oil prices.
BBC furthers that the country's soaring inflation and basic goods shortages have been "induced by political opponents" and Venezuelans will be monitoring how Maduro's opposition-dominated Congress will support him - the decree will be for their"consideration and approval" within the eight days following its publication in the Official Gazette.
Should they not, Maduro may opt to appeal to the Supreme Court of Justice where they will also review the decree in order "rule on its constitutionality."