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Mexican president defends budget plan in public
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13:26, September 22, 2009

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Mexican President Felipe Calderon Monday defended the country's budget plan that it would support the poor by increasing government expenditures on infrastructure, health and education.

"We are proposing a package that will allow us to generate the resources that are needed," Calderon said at a public meeting held by businessmen.

The government will provide one child from each poor family who stays in school with 130 pesos (10 U.S. dollars) a month and each pregnant woman with medical treatment, he said.

About 6.5 million citizens will benefit from the new budget, rather than 5.2 million at present, he added.

Calderon has presented the government's budget to Congress, which is now under debate.

Calderon's National Action Party (PAN) lost its majority to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in July's mid-term election and had become a minority in Congress for the first time in three years.

"Now is the time to show our solidarity with Mexico and above all the poor who need support and contributions from all," Calderon said.

Both businessmen and the opposition parties have publicly criticized the government's 2010 budget plan for raising taxes while Mexico is facing one of its worst recessions.

Mexico's economy shrank by 10.3 percent in the second quarter compared with the same period in 2008 and the country appears to be heading for its worst year since the so-called Tequila Crisis in 1995 when a sharp devaluation of the peso led to a dramatic fall in GDP.

Source:Xinhua



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