Mexico’s New President: Tearing up the script

peña-nietoThe Economist, 2/14/2013

LAST summer Enrique Peña Nieto’s determined face stared down from election posters, promising Mexicans: “You know I will deliver.” Just over 38% of voters were convinced, enough to hand him the presidency. Since his inauguration on December 1st he has indeed delivered several new policies and reforms—just not the ones voters and pundits expected.

During the campaign Mr Peña’s aides in the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) said that before Christmas of 2012 there would be a fiscal reform to increase the government’s meagre tax revenues. That would be swiftly followed by a shake-up of the energy industry to give a competitive nudge to Pemex, the state-run oil and gas monopoly, at whose headquarters a suspected gas explosion killed 38 people on January 31st. Mr Peña’s critics retorted that he was a puppet of special interests, such as the teachers’ union and powerful broadcasters.

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