UPDATE 2-Maduro names young hardliner to run Venezuela's ailing economy

miércoles 6 de enero de 2016 22:20 GYT

* New vice president for economy espouses Maduro's views

* Maduro says will present "rescue plan" for the economy

* Three opposition lawmakers sworn in despite being barred (Adds details on new ministers, comment from oppposition)

By Andrew Cawthorne and Alexandra Ulmer

CARACAS, Jan 6 (Reuters) - President Nicolas Maduro named a hardline sociologist on Wednesday to steer Venezuela's economy during an acute recession that is battering the OPEC nation and has cost the ruling Socialists' control of congress.

In a major cabinet reshuffle, the president appointed Luis Salas, 39, a professor at the Bolivarian University of Venezuela created by late leader Hugo Chavez, to the top economic position of vice president for the economy.

Salas, who has repeatedly espoused Maduro's view of an "economic war" waged by right-wing foes and wealthy businessmen against the government, was also named head of a new Ministry for Productive Economy.

The appointment will confound critics who say Venezuela desperately needs a loosening of state controls to revive production in a nation plagued by shortages and the world's highest inflation rate.

In his writings, Salas has argued in favor of price controls, says inflation is used as a "political tool" to pressure governments, and blames fascism for what he calls economic sabotage.   Continuación...