New Bank Debt Collections Initiative/Air Taxis to the AIFA
The mandate revocation consultation can now be promoted. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador celebrated that Congress approved that authorities promote the mandate revocation consultation. “I celebrate the approval of this reform, because it has to do with democracy. Now we can all talk about the consultation and solve any doubts.” In addition, he criticized the INE for not revealing the location of the polling stations for the consultation.
Yesterday, a decree was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF) so that government workers can "express themselves" about the mandate revocation consultation without being categorized as propaganda. The decree establishes that issues related to the consultation can be discussed since the information is of public interest. Previously, the INE ordered López Obrador to refrain from commenting about the consultation as it could wrongly influence people. In addition, the INE also ordered him to remove some morning conferences (mañaneras) from the Government page for failing to comply with this norm.
Air taxis to the AIFA. López Obrador announced that there will be air taxis from Polanco to the new Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA). “There will be taxis for everyone, but especially for those with additional financial resources. We will literally take people from their homes to the airport. The services will be private concessions. This service has been highly requested.”
Mexican authorities plan to inaugurate the AIFA on March 21. However, it has been underlined that the project is not finished. While the commercial center is already in operation and part of the airport facilities are finished, the AIFA continues without main accesses or roads. Several newspapers have highlighted the government's statement that the airport is easily accessible is a lie, since travel times by car from various points in Mexico City average approximately two hours, making the transportation costs also high.
AMLO opposes initiative for banks to collect debts. López Obrador rejected the initiative that allows banks to appropriate workers' salaries in order to collect their debts, since it benefits the banks at the expense of the workers. “I do not agree with this reform. I do not think workers' wages should be garnished under any circumstances. The worker's payroll cannot be taken away or forced to pay. We hope legislators review it well.”
Last year there were several attempts to pass the "thin collection" reform that seeks to deduct the wages of indebted workers. However, it was rejected due to its great impact on them. Although the vote was polarized, yesterday it was approved by the Chamber of Deputies and has now been sent to the Senate for its review. In the initiative sent, the legislators proposed that the maximum amount of indebtedness be the equivalent of 40 percent of the salary of each worker.
Government wants Mexico to be self-sufficient in energy. López Obrador announced the government continues to work so that Mexico does not depend on raw materials from other countries, especially since the recent crisis in Ukraine shows how vulnerable dependent countries can be. “Now with the war in Ukraine, European countries are suffering a lot because they depend on Russian gas. Spain, which is not directly involved in the conflict, has witnessed an increase in gas prices like never before. That is why we are reinforcing our energy independence.”
Since 2018, López Obrador has made it one of his government priorities to strengthen the country's energy sector. In recent years, the government has modernized the ports of Salina Cruz and Coatzacoalcos to build industrial parks to take advantage of Veracruz's energy potential. Likewise, the construction of natural gas liquefaction plants is being reviewed, which would allow the country not only to take advantage of its gas resources but also to export it Asia or the US.