“Mexico has an imperial presidency,” warns The Financial Times; as it sees a disaster coming towards Mexico.
The newspaper also exposes a tragedy in Mexico, because of the way President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is handling the contingency for the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
“Mexico has an imperial presidency and an imperious president.” So says the Financial Times in an editorial published today that warns of the “tragedy to come” with the way Lopez Obrador is handling the crisis over the coronavirus.
In the editorial, titled “Mexico’s presidential tragedy in development,” the Financial Times points out that if until now López Obrador had been the exception to the rule of leftist populists in Latin America, known as “big spenders,” the arrival of the pandemic in Mexico has changed everything and “exposed dangerous new weaknesses.
The text describes López Obrador’s responses to the crisis as “disastrous”. “His erratic behavior in the first weeks of the pandemic suggests that the country is headed for a much worse crisis in the remaining six years of his government unless there is a dramatic change of course”.
The newspaper recalls when the Mexican president said that a six-leaf clover would protect him from the coronavirus, as well as the times he violated the rule of social distancing issued by the government itself “even shaking hands, on one occasion, with the mother of one of the country’s most infamous traffickers,” about Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.
The denial of the magnitude of the pandemic, says the editorial, is similar to what happened in Brazil with President Jair Bolsonaro and in the United States with Donald Trump.
“What is unique”, says the newspaper, “is Lopez Obrador’s denial of the need for a major fiscal and monetary stimulus to rescue the economy from recession despite the market consensus that Mexico will be among the countries most affected by the pandemic because of its dependence on U.S. manufacturing, tourism, remittances, and oil”.
The executive’s recipe has been “more austerity, including a second round of salary cuts for government officials,” warns the Financial, recalling the Mexican government’s initial opposition to an oil agreement to stabilize prices.
Faced with this attitude, he says, business leaders have come out to propose an alternative plan to respond to the coronavirus. In that sense, he suggested that politicians from all parties, state governors, and business leaders join together to agree on a comprehensive economic and health program to treat the coronavirus and put pressure on President López Obrador.
“Legal challenges should be launched against some of his most questionable policies. Venezuela’s terrible humanitarian catastrophe is a clear warning of what another four and a half years of López Obrador could do to Mexico,” the Financial Times wrote.
And yes… In Mexico, the worst is yet to come.
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