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News Article

Office of the Presidency Closes / Disputes Economic Data

By Ricardo Guzman | Thu, 12/03/2020 - 11:01

Office of the Presidency is shuttered. President López Obrador announced that the government will terminate the Office of the Presidency after the departure of Alfonso Romo as its head. “We are no longer going to have that office because he (Romo) is going to continue helping me without being an official. We are also going to take advantage of it to save money,” he said. The president announced yesterday the departure of the businessman Romo from the presidential cabinet, noting that Romo decided to work for the public sector as part of his government, but just for two years. “We agreed that it would be two years and the term was met,” López Obrador explained. López Obrador added that Romo will continue to be his main link with the private sector. “We are friends. Yesterday, we saw each other, we had a meal and he will continue to join me on some tours,” he said.

Disputes economic data. President López Obrador downplayed an INEGI report on the impact on the economy from the COVID-19 pandemic and said that he “has other data.” Yesterday, INEGI reported that 20.81 percent of micro, small and medium businesses were terminated in one year. “I have information that consumption has not fallen, that we are recovering jobs, that we do not have a shortage of food, there is no devaluation of the peso, and we have not increased debt or taxes,” he pointed out.

Praises US, Trump help. The US helped provide the Pfizer vaccine to Mexico, President López Obrador said. He noted that during his trip to Washington in July, he asked President Donald Trump for the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the US company. “They helped, they facilitated Mexico being considered and we will have the vaccine. This is why yesterday's agreement with Pfizer is important,” he said, referring to the purchase of 34.4 million doses announced yesterday by Minister of Health Jorge Alcocer. “I hope that before the end of the year we will already have the vaccine,” the president said.

Remittances ‘miracle.’ The 12 percent growth in remittances in November is a “a social miracle,” President López Obrador said. “It is a phenomenon, a social miracle, yes we are even going to pass US$40 billion in remittances, a record,” he said. According to Banxico, from January to October of this year, Mexico received over US$33.56 billion in remittances, an amount higher than the US$30.39 billion sent in the same period of 2019.

Call to resume in-person education. Mexico needs to move toward resuming in-person education without risk in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, President López Obrador said. “We must first consider the states where there is already a green traffic light. We have two: Campeche and Chiapas, and others that can soon enter the green light,” he said, referring to the epidemiological traffic light that limits social and public activities. The president noted there is a need to normalize education in the country. “Of course, there is the education system on television, internet or radio, but we have to move toward face-to-face education while observing all health protocols,” he said.

Nominee for Banxico post will be a woman. President López Obrador said he will name a female candidate tomorrow for deputy governor of Banxico. “There is only one woman there, they are all men, so the proposal that I am going to send to the Senate tomorrow will be a woman,” he said. The president said that besides the nominee for the central bank position he will also push to have another woman named as an INEGI adviser.

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Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish

Ricardo Guzman Ricardo Guzman Editor