UPDATE 3-Recession-hit Venezuela vows New Year reforms, foes scoff
(Adds Maduro comments, trader, context)
By Corina Pons and Andrew Cawthorne
CARACAS Dec 30 (Reuters) - President Nicolas Maduro vowed on Tuesday to reform Venezuela's Byzantine currency controls in early 2015 as part of a six-month plan to shake Venezuela out of recession, but foes accused him of incompetence and inaction.
After sitting on GDP data all year, the Central Bank announced that OPEC member Venezuela had entered recession, with the economy contracting in each of the first three quarters: by 4.8, 4.9 and 2.3 percent, respectively.
Confirming Venezuela as the region's worst-performing major economy this year, the bank also said 12-month inflation reached 63.6 percent in November, the highest rate in the Americas.
Maduro, 52, who won election last year to replace his socialist mentor Hugo Chavez, blamed political opponents for damaging the oil-dependent economy with months of street protests earlier this year.
Maduro vowed to head up a six-month plan to turn around the economy in 2015 by reducing inflation-inducing liquidity, boosting international reserves, cutting unnecessary costs, and reforming the three-tier foreign exchange system.
"We are going to perfect the currency system," he told a news conference, without giving much further detail on that or the other measures. "2015 will be a year of economic recovery ... great economic transformation."
Opponents quickly slammed Maduro's comments as devoid of detail and real solutions for the ailing economy. Continuación...