President Luis Echeverria officiated at May Day celebrations in Mexico City on Monday (1 May), and took part in a march of workers and leaders of the Workers' Union of Mexico.
President Luis Echeverria officiated at May Day celebrations in Mexico City on Monday (1 May), and took part in a march of workers and leaders of the Workers' Union of Mexico. His alignment with the workers, especially in the area of wage increases, has caused business leaders to call him leftist. But his attempts to broaden Mexico's trade base and general encouragement of nationalism have been supported by industry.
After making rapid economic gains in the 19760's, Mexico's economy has slowed down. Problems include heavy foreign debts, a big trade deficit and an economic recession in the United States, which traditionally buys over 60 per cent of Mexican exports. President Echavorria, a 50-year-old reform-minded career politician, has been trying to revitalise the economy since he took office towards the end of 1970.
Mexico's nationalism is not the same as that in other Latin American countries where foreign business interests are being severely harassed. It is, rather, an effort to break away altogether from the commercial, financial and other more subtle tics that have long bound Mexico to he United States. President Echeverria spent the better part of his first year in office trying to find new trading partners in Europe and the Far East, and his recent trip to Japan resulted in far-reaching agreements on future cooperation.
SYNOPSIS: President Luis Echeverria walked with workers and union leaders in a procession marking May Day in Mexico City on Monday. He has the strong support of the labour force, primarily for his policies increasing minimum wages and fringe benefits for the workers. After raising the Mexican flag at the National Palace, the President viewed the procession from a balcony.
Since taking office towards the end of 1970, President Echeverria has been trying to revitalise the economy.
The fifty-year-old leader has been trying to broaden the trade base of Mexico, thereby lessening dependence on the United States where recession and trade protectionist moves have affected the Mexican economy. President Echeverria has been trying to find new trading partners in Europe and the Far East. An indication of the President's Asia-oriented thinking was Mexico's decision, in February, to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, thus joining other countries in efforts to tap that nation's potentially vast consumer market. The economic giant of the Far East, Japan, was recently visited by the Mexican leader, and that resulted in far-reaching agreements on future cooperation.
The President has also dispatched commercial missions to East and West Europe, and he has met with other Latin American leaders. There are those who favour nationalism in Mexico, and economic independence from the U.S. could be the first step.