Venezuela on Saturday has shifted the date for the introduction of new banknotes to August 4, the country’s government said. The Venezuelan government was supposed to introduce the new banknotes on June 4, but the Venezuelan Banking Association (ABV) had requested more time to prepare for the switch, Xinhua reported. The new date was announced after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro met with ABV officials. The new banknotes eliminate three zeroes from the existing currency, as Venezuela has been hit hard by runaway inflation and negative GDP growth due to weak economic reforms. The bolivar currency has weakened considerably, leading to a shortage of basic necessities and fuel. Venezuela recently saw massive and violent protests over the rise in prices.
“The executive branch, after evaluating the proposal, has agreed to reschedule the start of the currency redenomination for Aug. 4, 2018,” according to a statement from the Sectoral Vice Presidency of Economy. The decision aims “to strengthen constructive dialogue among all sectors of national life and make progress towards consolidating peace, and economic and social prosperity,” the statement added. On a related note, Maduro was re-elected for a second six-year term in the presidential elections on May 20. During his swearing-in address, he said that Venezuela had entered a new phase and has vowed to fight the mafias and revamp the economy.