March 1, 2001
LF: What are your priorities?
VF: Creating jobs, without doubt. The market generates jobs and Nafta is proof of this. We also have to [consider] social responsibility. We will invest the budget mainly in education, which is a very good way to redistribute incomes. We will extend health programs. I have given instructions to all ministries that they give priority to Indians, rural communities, to colonias populares when they make their budget allocations.
LF: Mexico has grown rapidly, but incomes have scarcely improved.
VF: In the last 18 years there was no increase in the purchasing power of salaries. Each year, inflation was greater than the rise in salaries. Per capita in
Vicente Fox met with John Barham, editor of LatinFinance, at Fox's new offices in the Los Pinos presidential compound in Mexico City. Fox, in his trademark cowboy boots, was relaxed and in high humor as he fielded questions that included reforming Pemex, the national oil company, ending the Zapatista uprising, increasing foreign direct investment and eliminating poverty.