Chavez to nationalise banks and farms?


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is hinting at radical measures to pull into line banks, farmers and food processors who fail to act in the national interest.

In the case of banks, Chavez is threatening that banks who fail to comply with laws requiring a third of loans to be set aside for agriculture, mortgages and small businesses (with favourable rates) will be seized. He has also approved legislation establishing a 15 percent ceiling on interest for agricultural loans and extending payment deadlines from three to twenty percent.

Hugo Chavez has talked tough with banks before, threatening nationalisation unless they use some of their profits to fund programmes for the poor.

And far from thinking that “blessed are the cheese makers”, Chavez is describing farmers who deny milk to Venezuelans and seek higher profits by turning it into gourmet cheese as traitors. He may even call in the army to ensure the current milk shortage doesn’t worsen.

The Gossip team assume that we won’t see any similar measures adopted by George W Bush to address the current economic woes in the United States.


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