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Mexico gas hike fuels fire of economic woes

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 01:42

After more than a week of protests against fuel hikes in Mexico, President Enrique Pena Nieto has proposed new measures to help keep costs down. But with a protectionist U.S. president about to take office, the country's economy could be in for an even greater shock. Laura Frykberg reports.

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It's a betrayal felt by many in Mexico... Petrol prices have risen as much as 20 percent since the new year. After the government pulled the plug on controlling costs... And international prices began to increase. Add to that - rising inflation and the plummet of the peso. And a fire has been lit, under a smoldering economic crisis. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SAUL SANCHEZ PEREZ, PROTESTER, SAYING: "This government is making all Mexican workers, poorer." Mexico's President has attempted to put it out... Pledging to keep the price of basic goods stable, cut salaries of top government officials and encourage capital repatriation. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PRESIDENT ENRIQUE PENA NIETO, SAYING: "We will do whatever is necessary, so that the adjustment in petrol prices has the least possible impact on family finances." A new neighbouring government could also prove problematic. President-elect Trump has threatened to take work out of the country. In a bid to create more jobs in the U.S. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILSON KING INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, HEAD OF RESEARCH, RICHARD HUNTER, SAYING: "We are still waiting to hear whether president-elect Trump carries out his pre-election promises to come down very hard on Mexico. So in terms of an economic and investing perspective, Mexico is in a very difficult place at the moment." So too is the country's president. Confidence in him has fallen since the fuel hike. Defending it as the only option - he's reportedly asked the public - what would you have done? For many here and on social media - one of their answers was simple: resign.

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Mexico gas hike fuels fire of economic woes

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 01:42