Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim said Monday April 16 that he would be “concerned and afraid” if leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wins and cancels the new Mexico City airport project.
Speaking at a news conference, Slim strongly defended the $9.2 billion project, in which his companies have won major contracts.
Lopez Obrador, who is the front-runner in preference polls, has called the project too costly and is pledging to cancel it if he wins the July 1 presidential vote. He says the soil at the site of the project is prone to sinking and flooding.
Asked if he is concerned about Lopez Obrador, Slim said: “I would be concerned and afraid for what comes after, because if this is going to be the way things are done, I think mistakes will be made in public administration.”
He added that “there is a risk of making mistakes by taking too few factors into account in decisions.”
Asked about Slim’s comments, Lopez Obrador said, “I respect that point of view, but I don’t share it.”
“It has been proven that this airport is going to be very costly for the country,” Lopez Obrador said. “It’s a bottomless pit.”
“This isn’t a good deal for the country, for Mexicans. It is for a small group of contractors, they are going to make a lot,” the candidate added.
Slim, who built his $67 billion fortune largely on cellphone and traditional phone services but has since branched out into construction, said the new airport would spur development.
“Suspending the project would mean suspending the country’s economic growth,” he said.
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