28 de febrero de 2021
Hispanic World

Mexico begins 2021 with legislative, economic battles with businessmen

By Pedro Pablo Cortes

 A woman walks in front of the Bank of Mexico headquarters in Mexico City on Jan. 10, 2021. 
EFE-EPA/Jose Pazos

A woman walks in front of the Bank of Mexico headquarters in Mexico City on Jan. 10, 2021. EFE-EPA/Jose Pazos

By Pedro Pablo Cortes

Mexico City, Jan 10 (efe-epa).- The Mexican government begins this year with new and controversial legislative battles with businessmen regarding employment, renewable energy, autonomous entities and the Bank of Mexico (Banxico), all of which could disrupt its plan for a quick economic recovery.

"They are really very important threats for Mexico's good economic progress," Prof. Luis Guimes, with the Mexicali campus of the CETYS Graduate School of Business, told EFE on Sunday.

Just this past week, the first of the year, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador revived old initiatives and new policies to overturn the "reforms of the neoliberal period."

The president defended the announcement of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) to take private renewable energy generators out of operation, blaming them for the massive blackout that affected 10.3 million people in December.

He also sparked indignation when he announced that he will seek to eliminate autonomous entities like the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT), the Federal Economic Competition Commission (Cofece) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE).

"They don't work, they don't benefit the public, but it does cost a lot to maintain them," Lopez Obrador said at his Friday morning press conference.

The Business Coordinator Council (CCE), Mexico's top private sector organization, expressed its "concern" over the president's remarks warning that the economy "is starting out weak in 2021."

"In such difficult times as these for our country, when we all must be seeking alternatives to promote economic activity, it scarcely pays to attack productive sectors," said the organization.

To these measures can be added the president's initiative to eliminate work subcontracting, known as "outsourcing," and the reform that will force Banxico to buy dollars that the private bank cannot repatriate, a situation that puts the central bank at risk of receiving illicit cash.

The president and his party, the National Regeneration Movement, or Morena, warned that they will back these measures despite the fact that they had already negotiated with the private sector on the matter.

"The federal government, since it (came into office) has been a continuous attack on private initiative, above all on business organizations," Guemez said.

The uncertainty remains as Mexico deals with the Covid-19 pandemic, which has infected more than 1.52 million Mexicans and killed 133,000 of them.

The health crisis led to a 9.6 percent contraction in the country's GDP during the first nine months of 2020.

The president and the Treasury and Public Credit Secretariat (SHCP) estimate that the Mexican economy contracted by 8 percent in 2020 but that it will have a 4.6 percent rebound in 2021.

However, Guemez doubts the government's optimism.

"To get back to the GDP level we had in January 2019, four years of any government are not enough to attain the same size of the economy," he said.

The professor also warned that the reforms could endanger the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the government's main hope for rejuvenating the economy.

In particular, the initiative to eliminate outsourcing puts the five million workers who depend on it for their livelihoods, the director of Tallentia MX, Elias Micha, told EFE.

"We're seeing how dangerous it is to stigmatize subcontracting and it's even more dangerous to do it in a crisis year," the business leader said.

After the loss of a net of 700,000 formal jobs in 2020, the reform will prevent the government from meeting its goal of recovering all the jobs registered with the Mexican Social Security Institute by March, Micha said.

He noted that Mexico never has created one million formal jobs in a single year, and thus he questioned the president's promise.

"I don't see how, with the pandemic everything will get done. With an out of control pandemic, frankly it's very difficult to think there's going to be a jobs recovery in one quarter. We're thinking that if it happens it will take years," he said.

Histórico de noticias
Migrants stranded on Mexican border crossing into US from 3 cities

Ciudad Juarez/Matamoros/Tijuana, Mexico, Feb 26 (efe-epa).- Tijuana, Matamoros and starting Friday, Ciudad Juarez, are the three Mexican border cities where...

Bolsonaro criticizes distancing measures despite worsening of pandemic

Rio de Janeiro, Feb 26 (efe-epa).- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, one of the world leaders who has been most skeptical about the seriousness of the...

Panama vaccinating disabled people against Covid-19

Panama City, Feb 26 (efe-epa).- Panama on Friday began vaccinating people aged 16-plus with disabilities after earlier this week receiving its third...

A year of Covid pandemic has pushed Mexicans into dire economic straits

By Miquel Muñoz

Former US Olympic gymnastics coach commits suicide after being indicted

Washington, Feb 25 (efe-epa).- The former coach of the US women's Olympic gymnastics team, John Geddert, committed suicide on Thursday after being charged...

Biden: US has administered 50 mn anti-Covid vaccine doses

Washington, Feb 25 (efe-epa).- President Joe Biden on Thursday hailed the fact that the US has now administered 50 million doses of the vaccines against...

461 iguanas released to repopulate Galapagos island after dying out there

Quito, Feb 25 (efe-epa).- Technicians with the Galapagos National Park about two weeks ago reinserted 461 land iguanas onto Santiago Island, transporting...

Peruvian judge decriminalizes euthanasia for Ana Estrada case

Lima, Feb 25 (efe-epa).- A Peruvian judge, in an historic ruling, has ordered euthanasia decriminalized in the specific case of Ana Estrada, the first...

Biden reviewing US supply chains in key sectors to end reliance on China

Washington, Feb 24 (efe-epa).- President Joe Biden on Wednesday launched a comprehensive review of US national strategy regarding obtaining supplies in key...

Ecuador trying to unravel prison massacre circumstances

By Elias L. Benarroch

Miami's Virginia Key, a beach symbol of civil rights struggle

Miami, Feb 24 (efe-epa).- A beach in Miami stands as a symbol of the fight for civil rights. Virginia Beach in August 1945 was designated for the use of...

Senate examines colossal security breakdown surrounding Capitol attack

Washington, Feb 23 (efe-epa).- The US Senate on Tuesday examined the "colossal" security breakdown that enabled angry supporters of then-President Donald...

Tiger Woods seriously injured in one-car rollover crash near Los Angeles

Los Angeles, Feb 23 (efe-epa).- Golf icon Tiger Woods, who on Tuesday morning was injured in a one-car rollover crash in Los Angeles County, California, is...

Perez: Fraud, 16K inconsistencies in Ecuador presidential vote

Quito, Feb 23 (efe-epa).- Indigenous presidential candidate Yaku Perez said Tuesday that "more than 16,000 records with inconsistencies" have been detected...

Huawei vice president calls for global consensus on technological development

Mexico City, Feb 22 (efe-epa) - Latin America's challenge in improving Internet connectivity in rural and urban areas to reduce the digital divide, which is...

NASA releases 1st video, audio of Perseverance landing on Mars

Miami, Feb 22 (efe-epa).- NASA on Monday released the first video of the landing of the Perseverance exploratory probe on Mars and also the first sounds...

Supreme Court rejects Trump's attempt to keep tax returns hidden

Washington, Feb 22 (efe-epa).- The US Supreme Court on Monday rejected former President Donald Trump's refusal to turn over some of his tax returns to the...

If you want to forget about Covid-19, visit Haiti

Port-au-Prince, Feb 21 (efe-epa).- A year into the coronavirus pandemic, it is impossible to get away from the constant inflow of information about Covid-19...

US formally offers to restart talks with Iran, Washington media report

Washington, Feb 18 (efe-epa).- The Joe Biden administration has formally offered to restart nuclear talks with Iran, according to US media reports on...

Kamala Harris's stepdaughter makes debut as model in New York

New York, Feb 18 (efe-epa).- Ella Emhoff, the stepdaughter of US Vice President Kamala Harris, on Thursday made her debut as a model during New York Fashion...

Perseverance robot rover touches down safely on Martian surface

Miami, Feb 18 (efe-epa).- The Perseverance space probe has landed safely on Mars after successfully passing through the expected "seven minutes of terror"...

Mexico out front in pressuring UN to guarantee anti-Covid vaccine access

By Cristina Sanchez Reyes

Maduro: I had lots of contacts with Trump administration

Caracas, Feb 17 (efe-epa).- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Wednesday that his government had "heaps of contacts" with the Donald Trump...

Argentine kids return to class after almost a year of remote learning

By Rodrigo Garcia Melero