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News Article

New Infrastructure Package / Christmas Bonuses Canceled

By Ricardo Guzman | Fri, 11/06/2020 - 10:54

New infrastructure package. President López Obrador announced that next week he will meet with the private sector to review and prepare a second package of infrastructure works. “We are about to unveil a second package of infrastructure works with the participation of the national private sector. Infrastructure works with significant amounts of resources to continue boosting the country's economy,” he said. Business Coordinating Council (CCE) head Carlos Salazar, among others businessmen, are scheduled to meet the president and cabinet members at the National Palace. López Obrador also highlighted that global banks and finance firms continue to regard Mexico as the best place to invest in Latin America, and pointed to remarks yesterday from Santander head Ana Botín and BlackRock head Larry Fink during a videoconference that Mexico is a great destination for foreign investment.

Christmas bonuses canceled for high-earning officials. Aiming to strengthen austerity measures in his administration and providing fresh funds for the COVID-19 health contingency plan, President López Obrador ordered that Christmas bonuses (known as aguinaldo) be trimmed for top federal officials. “High officials decided that we were going to contribute voluntarily, giving up our Christmas bonuses,” he said and explained that now, since El Buen Fin (the Mexican Black Friday) was anticipated to start next week, a decree was needed. Yesterday, the president published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF) the decree on 2020 bonus payments. López Obrador said the vast majority of workers will receive full payment, since the measure applies only for those with higher salaries.

Push to top salaries. President López Obrador is assessing a new initiative so that nobody can earn a bigger salary than the president of the republic. He said that a reform of the Constitution is likely to reach this goal. “I want it to be very clear that the Constitution is respected and that no one can earn more than the president of the republic. This will prevent misinterpretations and prevent some federal officials from filing for legal protection,” he noted. A first attempt in this regard was rejected early in his administration. “Many public servants, mostly from the judiciary, were granted protection and they are earning more,” he lamented.

Peso at its strongest since pandemic started. President López Obrador said the Mexican peso has had its best performance since the COVID-19 pandemic started, after it closed yesterday at MX$20.61 per dollar. The Mexican currency topped MX$25 in early March. “It’s at its best since the pandemic to date,” he said and highlighted that the peso remained solid in the face of the US election, where a winner has yet to be announced. The president noted that the healthy economy and public finances will be boosted by the approval of the next federal budget bill that is being discussed in the Senate.

Vigilant on Tabasco. President López Obrador sent a message to the people of Tabasco, telling them that he remains vigilant regarding flooding in the state. “I want to tell my countrymen that I am vigilant. Flooding is very strong in several municipalities because it has not stopped raining,” he said, adding that there was no  risk from the La Peñitas dam, managed by CFE and which was pointed to at first as responsible for some of the flooding. The president said Minister of the Navy (Semar) Rafael Ojeda will travel to Tabasco to personally oversee support and relief efforts for the affected population.

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Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish

Ricardo Guzman Ricardo Guzman Editor

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