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Tom Joyce



Tuesday 12th January 2010, 06:55 Central Time

Retailers shut down in Venezuela

Venezuelan authorities temporarily closed several retail outlets on Monday to prevent price hikes

Retailers shut down in Venezuela
AP Photo/Fernando Llano

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In Venezuela, government inspectors accompanied by soldiers temporarily shut down dozens of retail stores on Monday in an attempt to prevent big price increases following the devaluation of the country’s currency, according to the Associated Press.

Inspectors from the consumer protection agency closed 70 stores, claiming that the retailers had improperly raised prices, the state-run Bolivarian News Agency reported.

Three large stores of the Exito hypermarket chain, majority-owned by France-based Casino Guichard Perrachon SA, where shut down for 24 hours.

President Hugo Chavez says that the currency change will discourage imports of non-essential goods and encourage domestic production of items such as food.

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