> The government of Nicolas Maduro scrapping the largest and most common note, the 100 bolivar bill, from circulation this week, in order to control what is believed to be the world's highest inflation. The sudden move is causing chaos across Venezuela, a country already suffering a severe recession and disruptions to daily life.
Reuters correspondent Alexandra Ulmer is in Caracas.>> President Nicolas Maduro said this measure will help combat crime on the border. He says Colombians and Colombian mafias are storing those 100 bolivar bills to go buy up cheap and subsidize Venezuelan food, medicine and gasoline. Economists however say this measure will not help with raging shortages and inflation in Venezuela.
>> Venezuelans now have 10 days to exchange the 100 bolivar notes at the Central Bank that are worth only 2 US cents in the black market.>> Adding to frustration, today is a banking holiday in Venezuela. As you can see, the Banco de Venezuela behind me is closed.
I spoke to many people this morning who were trying to deposit their 100 bolivar bills they had accumulated at home, only to find that many cash machines don't work. One man I interviewed had previously spent six weeks going to the ATM every day to take money out, to try to get by amid this cash shortage.
Now he is going around trying to deposit those very same bills before they run out of value. In addition, Venezuela's telecommunications lines have gotten very shaky which means that card readers often don't function. So Venezuelans woke up this morning wondering how they were gonna pay for basic transactions.
>> The decision has been likened to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's move in November to scrap large bank notes in a bid to flush out money earned through crime, which led to long bank queues and a cash crunch. The Venezuelan government on Thursday will start releasing six new notes and three new coins, the largest of which will be worth 20,000 bolivares, less than $5 on the streets.