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Mexico Launches Plan to Boost Economy, Control Prices amid Gas Surge

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Jan 10, 2017, 9:30 am
Peña Nieto
Nieto is trying to ensure the rest of the economy isn’t affected by the deregulation of and subsequent price increase in gas prices. (Gobierno de México).

EspañolFaced with Mexico’s increasing gas prices, President Enrique Peña Nieto made a series of controversial moves on Monday, January 9 in hopes of strengthening the Mexican economy, which were specifically opposed by the Mexican Employers’ Confederation.

Nieto introduced the Agreement for Economic Strengthening and Protection of the Family Economy, saying it came in response to people’s concerns about how fuel prices would affect other aspects of spending in their lives, and for households in the lowest income bracket.

Secretary of Finance Jose Antonio Meade said the agreement is intended to protect the parts of the economy that most impact families — like the price of domestic goods — to promote investment and employment, preserve investment and preserve economic stability overall while strengthening rule of law.

Nieto said it is important that employers also commit to improving the productivity of their industries, and that the federal government implement controls to ensure that prices of products do not increase unreasonably.

“The agreement responds precisely to the concerns of women and heads of households, concerns that there is an unjustified increase in other goods and services, especially in basic living expenses,” Nieto said. “There are concerns that there will be food shortages or cuts in programs in order to respond to these concerns, but the business sector is committed to helping avoid incurring a price increase.”

As for the imminent increase in transportation-related costs, Nieto announced that the federal government will be promoting initiatives to switch to the use of more “efficient and economic” fuels.

High government spending has been a main concern for this administration, and so the federal government included in the agreement an austerity program to take care of the expenses of the present administration, including cutting US $9.5 billion and reducing salaries of public servants in federal posts by 10 percent.

Nieto said the Ministry of Finance is working on identifying all areas of the economy where savings can be made so that the government keeps its spending promises.

Fuente: El Universal

Elena Toledo Elena Toledo

Educator by trade, social-media apprentice, activist for a democratic Honduras, and free thinker. Follow her on Twitter @NenaToledo.

Venezuela to Allow Foreign Exchange Brokers Along Colombian Border

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Jan 9, 2017, 7:40 pm
Reversing course, the Venezuelan government will now allow currency exchange houses (

Español Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro announced new economic measures for his country; among them the installation of foreign exchange houses on the border with Colombia, as well as the rotation and ratification of ministers. The president said Monday he will allow the legal exchange of Venezuelan bolivars for Colombian pesos through exchange houses that will be located in Ureña, in Táchira state and Paraguachón, in Zulia state. Read More: Venezuela Reopens Border with Brazil; Colombia Perimeter Still Closed Read More: More Food and Currency Controls Lay Ahead in Venezuela, Experts Say Venezuela has experienced the world's highest inflation rate in recent years, as its people have suffered from widespread shortages, rampant insecurity, and high levels of corruption. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); Maduro's move marks a U-turn in the nation, which since 2003 has exerted an iron grip over all foreign currency exchange. Maduro suggested that the policy change was taken in order to take away control from mafias that he alleges are controlling currency exchange along the border, aiming to destabilize the Venezuelan currency. Few economists agree with this assessment. "I have decided to approve the border exchange houses in San Antonio del Táchira and Paraguachón," he said on national television. In addition, he announced changes for cabinet ministers who will be in charge of the 15 departments that head the Bolivarian Economic Agenda during 2017. Elías Jaua, who was recently appointed minister of education, will be in charge of the pharmaceutical department, and Miguel Pérez Abad, who was vice president of the economic department, will assume the reins of the industrial department. It was also announced that Aristóbulo Istúriz, who until a week ago served as vice president of Venezuela, will assume the leadership of the department of communal economy. In addition, he appointed Nelson Martínezto head the petrochemical department, and put Ramón Lobo in charge of the public and private banking department. Also announced were: Marlenys Contreras (tourism), Eulogio del Pino (hydrocarbons), Roberto Mirabal (mining), Manuel Quevedo (construction), Juan Arias (forestry and basic industries), Wilmar Castro Soteldo (agriculture), Vladimir Padrino López (military industrial), and Manuel Fernández (telecommunications). Sources: La Patilla, Globovision

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