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Weekly Report - 21 May 2020 (WR-20-20)

Mexico swimming against the tide under López Obrador

If critics of Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador were restricted to isolating just one of his faults there is a strong chance they would settle on his inflexibility, a dogmatic determination to pursue his own ideologically infused agenda irrespective of the costs. The strength of López Obrador’s convictions won him votes but it means he is unable or unwilling to adapt: his government’s economic response to the magnitude of the challenge posed by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is a case in point. But given the scale of the economic contraction facing Mexico in 2020 as a result of Covid-19, this intractability has perhaps never been as apparent as now. His government published a new energy policy this week that will not just alienate investors when the economy needs them most, and lay the state open to big compensation claims when it is least able to pay, but also embraces ‘dirty’ energy when there is a global shift towards ‘clean’ energy.

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