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Congressmen call president's remarks on gas price hike irresponsible

Mexico City
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Mexico's president defended his unpopular move to hike gasoline prices 20 percent earlier today, sparking anger among several congressman.

Several members of Mexico's lower chamber of congress have called President Enrique Peña Nieto's remarks, in which he defends his decisions that led to the recent gas price hike, are insensitive and irresponsible.

Francisco Martínez Neri, a member of Mexico's leftist PRD party, called the president's remarks “absurd,” especially given the fact that Peña Nieto claimed his energy reforms had nothing to do with the over 20% increase in gas prices.

In addition, congressman Candelaria Ochoa said that the president is “wrong when he says there's no way to undo the price hike,” since she argues that Mexico's fuel taxes go directly to the federal government and not states and municipalities.

“Of course the tax can be reduced. In 2016 there was a 70-million-peso surplus (over 30 billion dollars) generated by this tax that went unaccounted for,” said congressman Ochoa during a press conference.

Congressman Arlette Muñoz of the rightest PAN party said that the federal government is failing to grasp the severity that the effects of the increase in prices is having across the country, which is why, she says, it's very important for the president to implement a strategy that mitigates increases in the costs of goods and services.

Jesús Sesma of the PVEM party, one of the parties that rallied in support behind the president's energy reforms, urged politicians and citizens to remain "calm, unified and firm" in order to face the difficult situation the country will experience in the near future.

Similar to what the president said earlier today, congressman Sesma said in a press statement that the decisions that led to the price hike were “painful and unpopular,” but necessary “because If they had not been taken, the effects and consequences would have been far more painful."


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