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Venezuela to slash six zeroes from currency -central bank

Venezuela will slash six zeroes off its inflation-battered currency the bolivar to make it easier to use, the central bank said Thursday.

The change will take effect October 1 with the issuance of new currency notes.

"All monetary amounts expressed in national currency will be divided by one million," the central bank of President Nicolas Maduro's beleaguered leftist government said.

It said the goal of the change is to "facilitate" the use of the bolivar.

The once-wealthy oil producer is enduring its fourth year of hyperinflation and its eighth year of recession.

From January through May prices have risen 265 percent.

Venezuela is now in the worst economic crisis of its modern history. Inflation is so bad that the everyday economy now works mainly in dollars. In stores it is common to see prices listed in dollars.

Back in May the government tripled the minimum monthly wage but the new amount was still not even enough to buy a kilo of meat.

The Maduro government is under international sanctions championed by the United States, which is pushing for his ouster and does not recognize him as the country's legitimate president.

With the currency overhaul, the central bank will issue new notes with face values of five, 10, 20, 50 and 100 bolivars and a one-bolivar coin, Communications Minister Freddy Nanez said on Twitter. -Agence France-Presse