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Venezuela running out of toilet paper

16 May 2013, 17:16

Caracas - First milk, butter, coffee and cornmeal ran short. Now Venezuela is running out of the most basic of necessities - toilet paper.

Blaming political opponents for the shortfall, the embattled socialist government says it will import 50 million rolls.

That was little comfort to consumers who struggled to find toilet paper in stores on Wednesday.

Manuel Fagundes, a shopper hunting for tissue in downtown Caracas, said: "I'm 71 years old and this is the first time I've seen this."

Economists say Venezuela's shortages stem from price controls meant to make basic goods available to the poorest parts of society and to the government's controls on foreign currency needed to pay for imports.

The government claims anti-government forces including the private sector are causing the shortages to destabilise the country.

- AP


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