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Venezuelan president hikes minimum wage amid unrest

Published:Monday | May 1, 2017 | 4:30 PM
Opponents of President Nicolas Maduro march to the Ramo Verde military prison in Los Teques on April 28. – AP Photo

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has ordered a 60 per cent increase in the country's minimum wage, effective today.

This means the worst-paid workers will now take home about 200,000 bolivars a month, which is still less than US$50 at the black market rate and includes subsidies.

The pay rise is the third this year from Maduro, and aims to benefit government workers and the military.

It comes a month after deadly protests erupted in the country.

Demonstrators first took to the streets on April 1 to demand elections, after the courts tried to strengthen the president's grip on power.

Marches in various cities descended into clashes between riot police and protesters, which have left 28 people dead.

Observers fear May 1 could bring a spike in unrest, with opposition and pro-government supporters planning rival marches.