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Chávez to nationalise gold reserves

The Venezuelan President, Hugo Chávez, has announced plans to renationalise the country's gold.

The Venezuelan President, Hugo Chávez, has said he will nationalise the country's gold mines and convert gold into international currency reserves. As the US and European currencies founder, many investors are turning towards gold as a "safe haven". Gold is now valued at $1,795, or £1,084, an ounce.

Chávez's moves also have an ideological aspect: the socialist president wishes to invest his country's reserves in some of the so-called 'BRIC' economies - Brazil, Russia and China - that he considers friendly to his regime. He has criticised global dependency on the dollar in the past, and his nationalisation of the gold industry will be seen as a step away from reliance on the US currency. The move will make China, in particular, happy.

Next month, Venezuelans will see a ten per cent wage increase, after a raise increase of 15 per cent in May. The average monthly salary in Venezuela is now £220. Although the Venezuelan economy is suffering from extremely high inflation, at 25 per cent a year, the rising price of oil has benefitted South America's largest exporter of oil.

Venezuela has recently introduced price controls in an effort to curb inflation and ensure affordable healthcare, passing a Law for Fair Costs and Prices. Private healthcare facilities earlier this week agreed to a three-week price freeze, as the government seeks to shore up its stretched public health system.

Chávez, who is seeking re-election next year, announced the plans for the renationalisation of gold on state television, upsetting the Canadian-based, Russian-owned company Rusoro - the only foreign firm involved in the Venezuelan gold industry.

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We're hiring! Join the New Statesman as an editorial assistant

The NS is looking for a new recruit.

The New Statesman is hiring an editorial assistant, who will work across the website and magazine to help the office run smoothly. The ideal candidate will have excellent language skills, a passion for journalism, and the ability to work quickly and confidently under pressure.

The job is a broad one – you will need to understand the requirements of both halves of the magazine (politics and culture) as well as having an interest in the technical requirements of magazine and website production. Experience with podcasts and social media would be helpful.

The right person will have omnivorous reading habits and the ability to assimilate new topics at speed. You will be expected to help out with administration tasks around the office, so you must be willing to take direction and get involved with unglamorous tasks. There will be opportunities to write, but this will not form the main part of the job. (Our current editorial assistant is now moving on to a writing post.)

This is a full-time paid job, which would suit a recent graduate or someone who is looking for an entry into journalism. On the job training and help with career development will be offered.

Please apply with an email to Stephen Bush (Stephen. Bush @ with the subject line ‘Editorial Assistant application’.  

In your covering letter, please include a 300-word analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the New Statesman. Please also include 500 words on what you consider to be the most interesting trend in British politics, and your CV as a Word document. 

The deadline for applications is noon on Monday 12th October.