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Feature 072814 Pazos

Monday, July 28, 2014

 

Mexican Oppositionists and the Quest for Government Funding

 

By Luis Pazos

 

The PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) has always spoken and acted like a party of the left, with radical and moderate cycles. In the 1980s there was the populist statism crisis, and Salinas had no other choice than to denationalize and deregulate. One faction of the PRI, the farthest to the left, accused him of betraying the "revolution" and they abandoned the PRI and formed the PRD (Party of the Democratic Revolution).

 

Regarding the recent reforms, the PRD made its position of preserving the old structures of the PRI clear, and it opposes everything that smells of privatization and abandonment of State monopolies. All that the PRD supported, together with the PRI, was the increase in taxes, this according to them in order to take from the rich and give to the poor. But, in reality this has been so that the federal government (will) spend more, and transfer more resources to PRI and PRD state governments.

 

They mediatized the labor reform and voted against it, because according to them it was harmful to workers; however it was because they felt comfortable with the old PRI corporatism, which weakened the labor reform as well as the education reform.

 

In the telecommunications reform, they incorporated several complicating changes and cost increases for companies to comply with the law. When it came to approving it, in the style of the PRI of the last century, (members of Congress) were ordered by the head of their party to vote against it, breaching agreements of their legislators.

 

(The PRD is) opposed to the constitutional changes for energy reform that open the sector to competition, and (its members) have defended the state monopoly tooth and nail. It seems that they are representatives of the Petroleum Workers' Union, and the contractors and corrupt politicians, the only beneficiaries that the oil sector is not opening to competition.

 

The role of "conservatives" against the energy reform, who are said to be representatives of the left in Mexico, is clear. What is not clear is whether they do it for ideological reasons, or through surreptitious agreement with those who have plundered Pemex for decades in order to give them money in elections like to the PRI in the last century (Pemexgate).

 

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Luis Pazos (e-mail: lpazos@prodigy.net.mx), who heads the Free Enterprise Research Center (CISLE) in Mexico City, holds a master's degree in Public Finance and a doctorate in Law from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).  A prolific writer and forethoughtful analyst, Dr. Pazos' commentaries on Mexican economics, finance and politics have appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout the Americas.  As well, he is the author of 39 books.  Edited translation by MexiData.info.

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