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The President of Mexico is trying to squeeze the private gas stations

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MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday proposed another law to weaken private companies and strengthen the hand of an inefficient state-owned company, the latest in a series of measures aimed at restoring private sector involvement. energy sector.

Lopez Obrador said the proposed law was aimed at combating the import of illegal gasoline. Mexico has only allowed private gas stations since 2016, և they quickly took over most of the market from the state-owned Pemex, whose concession stations were known for poor quality fuel, reducing the amount of fuel delivered to customers.

The president claimed that some private companies entering the market had imported gasoline without paying taxes on it. These companies may be shut down, their stations taken over and given to Pemex to operate.

But Lopez Obrador revealed another motive behind the law. His nationalist campaign to stop the import of gasoline. His animal projects include the construction of oil refineries, which he wants to curb foreign companies that have built wind farms in Mexico.

“Now we depend on imports, which is something that will change by the end of this administration,” said Lopez Obrador. “We are not going to sell raw materials (export) anymore, because we are going to process all that in our country, we are going to produce all the gasoline we consume.”

“We have to be self-sufficient, these are strategic actions so that Mexico can continue to be an independent, sovereign country,” he said.

Mixing the two laws – tax evasion – energy sovereignty, into one law in very vague language creates a strange mix that, according to business groups, can lead to de facto seizures.

The bill, which is currently being presented to Congress, would allow the government to seize private gas stations or terminals and give them to Pemex “in case of national security, energy security or immediate threat to the economy.”

The Mexican Competitiveness Institute, a research center, said in a statement that “in fact this is just alienation” could exacerbate the climate for private investment in Mexico.

“In order to keep Pemex as a major player in the oil sector, this bill seeks to expose private industry companies to the threat of alienation of their facilities under very incomprehensible national security, energy security or economic standards.” The group wrote:

Lopez Obrador has already passed Congress to pass legislation to give the state-owned power company a preference for private, renewable natural gas plants, even though many state-owned plants burn more polluting fuels, such as fuel oil, coal or diesel.

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