SHOPPING CENTERS IN VENEZUELA CUT HOURS IN HALF
(P1) Shopping centers in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, say they will be halving their open times to four hours a day.
(P2) The move will allow them to COMPLY WITH government energy RATIONING.
(P3) Ministers say that a DROUGHT has brought 18 of the country’s HYDRO-ELECTRIC DAMS to very low water levels. The SHORTAGE of electricity has caused many BLACKOUTS. (“No hay luz” in the photograph above means “There is no light” in Spanish.)
(P4) A spokesman for the country’s RETAIL association said the drop in working hours would have an impact on jobs.
(P5) The state energy corporation (Corpoelec) had wanted cuts twice a day, between 1pm and 3pm and then again between 7pm and 9pm.
(P6) The retail association, The Chamber of Venezuelan Commercial Centres (Cavececo), said it had made an ALTERNATIVE proposal: that shops should open late at 12:00 and close at 19:00 saving five hours of energy use daily.
(P7) But they had not received a response to this suggestion, the organisation said.
(P8) “To turn the lights off at one in the afternoon and not to be able to work would have a huge impact on our business,” said Mleidys Galves who works in a pizzeria in the Lider Shopping Centre in Caracas.
(P9) “That is our peak selling time when people come out to eat lunch.”
(P10) Cavececo said opening and closing twice in a day would be disastrous for banking operations, health centers, servicing companies, supermarkets, and restaurants.
(P11) The government has also asked private residences to start saving energy and has been rationing domestic water supplies since January.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- The Venezuelan government has been criticized for its handling of recent economic and political CRISES. Does the government in your country handle crises well?
- If you owned a business and could only be open five hours each day, which five hours would you choose?
- Have you ever experienced a blackout?
- Does your country get enough rain, or are there sometimes droughts?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Comply with
- Hydro-electric dam