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|Mayor in Cheap Oil Deal with Venezuelan President|
- Chavez hands over diesel in return for help with Caracas
London buses are to be powered by cheap Venezuelan oil.
Following the visit of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to London in May this year, a deal has been reached in which the oil-producing south American country will supply cheap diesel in return for expert help on infrastructure projects for its capital, Caracas.
Chavez has signed similar deals with other cities, such as Boston and New York, in which his largesse is planned to benefit the poorer citizens of those cities. Likewise with London.
"We have poor people in London. We are the richest city in Europe and yet we have the disgrace of child poverty," said Livingstone.
"[Venezuela] has a vast population living in slums, and we have a lot of experience in terms of housing policy and all the things we know about how to take a city and make it function."
Details are sketchy, but one idea is that children and old people would be provided with special passes to qualify for cheaper than usual fares.
The Chavez-Livingstone deal hasn’t impressed the mayor’s political opponents. “This reduces us to the status of a third-world barter economy,” said Mike Tuffy, leader of London’s Liberal Democrats.
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