The importance of México’s structural reforms has been widely discussed in several local, regional and national forums, as well as their expected results, but we Mexicans are curious beings, for we always think of results in the short-term, that things will happen as if magic were involved, that the benefits will fall as if from heaven.
What no one can deny is that President Peña Nieto, as he stressed in his second state-of-the-nation address last week, the approval of structural reforms was a primary goal of his term in office, with the knowledge that many of the resulting benefits will be perceived after his six-year term.
He has always been ready to pay the political price or low popularity in the polls as long as the proper structure is put in place, boosting our country’s much-needed development.
The second part of his message focused on kickstarting the process of enabling the approved reforms in a joint effort. From the outset he referred to the important presence of opposition parties throughout this whole process, and offered his congratulations.
A picture rarely seen in Mexican political life: President Peña Nieto with the chairmen of both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, Silvano Aureoles and Manuel Barboza, both of PRD extraction (Democratic Revolution Party), an example of the political diversity of our country.
The airy central courtyard of the National Palace saw a gathering of more than 2,000 individuals, representing economic, financial, political and intellectual activities, civilian organizations, and México’s security and armed forces, including a platform where each and every one of the governors of the states of the republic was present. Another gallery held the entire presidential cabinet. A full house.
The last part of the president’s speech was basically motivational, calling for a unity of efforts, the pursuit of common goals, and ensuring that the country is on the right track.
To close, he announced the beginning of major investment in new highways and institutional infrastructure, as well as the construction of a new airport for México City, which he considers as the mark of his term.
We were so accustomed, in past, PRI-era decades, to long, abstract reports, with a trained audience ready to give quick and long applause. This year’s hour-and-a-half summary, given before a dissimilar audience, also prompted some well-deserved ovations.
Opinion-column writers and commentators reviewed this state-of-the-nation address with positive eyes, holding in reserve their views on the future of so many reforms. Others commented that little was said about the economic problems that the country faces today, and that the issue of insecurity and the fight against organized crime were superficially covered, if at all.
The 2015 elections will provide a better perspective on public opinion about Peña Nieto’s administration and his political credibility.
Armando González is a retired journalist.