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News Article

Toledo Was in Poor Health / No Tax Increase in 2021

By Ricardo Guzman | Wed, 09/02/2020 - 11:09

Toledo resignation due to health problems. President López Obrador said Minister of Environment (SEMARNAT) Víctor Manuel Toledo resigned due to health problems, and that he will return to his academic activities as an UNAM researcher. “Víctor Manuel Toledo resigned as Minister of the environment, he is an honest person, a top of the line professional, but he is in poor health,” he said. Two weeks ago, Toledo harshly criticized inconsistencies in the federal administration in a leaked audio. The president said María Luisa Albores will leave her position as minister of welfare to assume SEMARNAT’s lead, a decision that makes sense since she is also an environmentalist.

No tax increases in 2021. The federal 2021 budget does not contemplate a rise in debt or more taxes, President López Obrador stated. “We are working on some adjustments. I can tell you that there won’t be any increase in public debt or taxes,” he noted after Finance Minister (SHCP) Arturo Herrera warned on Monday that “extra funds” that were available this year are gone and that it would be a hard year next year. Morena legislators have been openly pressing for a tax hike. The 2021 economic package will be presented for approval next week.

State medicine distributor to Pedro Zenteno. President López Obrador said Pedro Zenteno will be in charge of the new state medicine distribution company. “He is going to be in charge. I have known Pedro Zenteno for many years. He is a professional, a social fighter and I do not believe he is involved in corruption,” he said. Zenteno will leave his position as ISSSTE finance regulatory director to lead the newly created company that was originally to be given to David León, currently under investigation for alleged briberies involving the president’s brother, Pío López Obrador.

Warns INE on consultation. President López Obrador asked the Electoral Institute (INE) to get ready because there will be a public consultation on prosecuting former presidents. “They must prepare because there will be a citizen consultation to bring former presidents to trial. If the people want a consultation, then the people will decide,” he said. Regarding a recent INE request for more funds, López Obrador said the agency must “tighten their belts, find a way to do more with less and save.”

Applauds Argentina’s debt management. President López Obrador highlighted that Argentina managed to restructure 99 percent of its debt. “As you know, the previous government of Argentina contracted a lot of debt, they left their finances in a deplorable situation due to their debt. The new president, Alberto Fernández, began a negotiation process not to declare the suspension of payments,” he noted.

Rules out under-spending. There is no budget under-spending at federal ministries, President López Obrador said. “There is no under-spending in approved budgets. We are going to report on the progress of the budget expenditure. This year, progress has been made on our program,” he noted. The president said that on Sept. 9, Minister of Finance (SHCP) Arturo Herrera will join him in his daily briefing to report on the federal budget and the expenditure program.

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Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish

Ricardo Guzman Ricardo Guzman Editor