Using a traditional speech, and avoiding any major changes to the historic protocol, Andrés Manuel López Obrador offered his first Report of Government in front of Congress, wherein he highlighted the first achievements of his administration and also acknowledged some unresolved issues of his administration, such as the terrible scourge of violence.
First of all, the President celebrated the great symbols of his campaign; he said that the separation of economic power from political power is already a reality, and also that there is already an "authentic rule of law." A few minutes after starting his presentation, López Obrador "respectfully" asked Congress for three of his top-priority projects: the first, to establish a definite mechanism for revocation of mandate; also to eliminate any legal obstacle for the application of popular consultations, and the disappearance of constitutional "fuero" that protects some Government and elected officials from prosecution, starting with the President.
Regarding foreign affairs policy, he again clarified that his Government will seek bonds of friendship, collaboration, and respect, without interfering with other nations' business. He said that with the United States there will be a relationship of mutual respect, cooperation, and a concerted solution to problems common to both countries. Very quickly he took care of his adversaries. "It is a demonstrable fact that Mexico's past crises stem from the failure of the neoliberal model and an overwhelming, filthy, public and private corruption. Nothing has harmed Mexico worse than the dishonesty of its [former] rulers; that's the root of inequality" he pointed out. He repeated one of his campaign mantras, explaining that his administration's purpose is summed up in eradicating both corruption and impunity. "In this goal, we have advanced quite a lot. We've started facing fuel theft," he explained. During another long passage, he regarded "republican austerity," another of his flagship promises. "All luxuries have come to an end," he said and recalled that in former administrations there were officials who earned up to 700 thousand pesos (34,837.90 USD) monthly.
AMLO celebrated - an odd gesture for a purported center-left leader - the enormous adjustment achieved on governance structure. He said that "the indiscriminate hiring of office personnel" had been terminated, in addition to closing 51 ProMéxico representation offices abroad, and also the cancellation of millionaire retirement pensions given to former presidents. "Private medical care for public officials, which meant spending $ 6,000 million annually was also eliminated. Frivolous trips abroad, 71 planes and helicopters under command of public officials were decommissioned. Government advertising spending was reduced by 50%," he said. In economic matters, AMLO celebrated that in the second quarter of 2019, a surplus of USD 5,143 million was achieved, the largest since 1980. He also pointed out that in July, exports reached more than USD $ 39,000 million, an increase of 7% "The new economic policy means to maintain healthy public finances. Not spending more than what enters the country. At the end of this year we will reach the goal of a 1% surplus of GDP," he said, adding: "We haven't increased taxes, debt has not grown nor will it grow this year. We plan to not increase taxes this year. " This orthodoxy in macroeconomics gave the President other achievements: annual inflation is slowly approaching the 3% range required by Banxico, "gasoline has not increased price in real terms," ??and the peso has remained stable, "while most emerging currencies have depreciated."
"The economy is slowly growing, but there is no recession. Now the distribution of wealth is less unfair. For the good of all, the poor come first [yet another of his campaign slogans]. In 2024, let's have a better society, a renewed well-being environment. Let's put aside neoliberal hypocrisy and accept that the State must temper social inequalities" he said.
After mentioning all the social programs already being deployed among young people, older adults, and farm workers, AMLO addressed the most sensitive aspect of his government, which, just like its predecessors, is violence and insecurity. "A paradigm shift in security has been undertaken," AMLO said, then he acknowledged that "we still suffer from insecurity." Amid the actions he highlighted was the creation of better conditions for National Guard members, along with the deployment of 58 thousand elements in 150 coordinated areas. "The goal is to achieve 140 thousand elements in 266," he explained. He concluded: "The people will not be oppressed by the State. The extermination war set against organized crime is now over. The State will cease to be the main human rights violator. People taking care of our people, that is what the National Guard stands for. Getting results regarding the incidence of crime, that is our main challenge. We will be able to pacify the country. We will achieve this by no longer allowing crime to consort with authorities. We'll enforce a zero-impunity policy. " Finally, AMLO handed a few thoughts to the "conservatives" whom, he said, "are morally defeated." And although they "live stunned and disoriented, our people are happy."
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