AMLO said he canceled government savings bank, in which public officials would deposit a portion of their salary that would be duplicated and redistributed once they left office.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) highlighted the government's austerity plan and other topics, including education reform, during a press conference held at the National Palace in Mexico City.
The president also used the occasion to lambast previous government officials of using public funds to pay for plastic surgery. "They underwent plastic surgery procedures at the expense of the public treasury," AMLO said while stretching his cheekbones to simulate a facelift and adding "they were paid for from the budget. I have proof."
Exfuncionarios se hacían cirugías plásticas a costillas del erario: AMLO— Marquesina.mx (@marquesinap) April 16, 2019
El presidente de México, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, reivindicó este martes su plan de austeridad gubernamental y acusó a funcionarios de anteriores Gobiernos de incluso paga ...https://t.co/OFtImPjInO pic.twitter.com/Mc2pQa0ULx
Lopez Obrador campaigned for his "Republican austerity plan" which aims to eliminate privileges of public officials. The leader of the leftist Morena movement charged that previous governments spent some US$270 million a year for officials' private medical care, including aesthetic procedures.
Lopez Obrador has since revoked this privilege, among others. The Mexican president said that he canceled the government savings bank, in which public officials would deposit a portion of their salary that would be duplicated and distributed back to them once they left office.
"All of these things no longer exist. In the upcoming presidential report in June, I will point all of it out and how privileges were eliminated."
AMLO was also questioned on whether he would continue the educational reform projects promoted by his predecessor, Enrique Peña Nieto. Lopez Obrador said the former president's educational reform plan is a "bad call" before announcing a new plan to present the Ministry of Education, Government and Finance with a memorandum to cancel the reform, keeping only the sections relating to traffic control.
In regards to the event of dozens of hospitals halting services due to lack of payments to resident doctors, the president affirmed that he had instructed that the issue be resolved in all states by the end of the week.
Finally, in the midst of Holy Week, AMLO was asked if he maintained his previous idea of allocating radio and television stations to religious congregations, despite Mexico's classification as a secular state. The Mexican head of state responded that the government will continue to "look for ways to see if it is possible that time and space be allocated for the churches and everything that has to do with the circulation of religious messages."
Lopez Obrador noted that, for him, secularism means "not having a preference for a religion."
Regardless, AMLO indicated that a request was made for a report, from the Ministry of the Interior, to evaluate the pros and cons of making a decision on the subject, as well as examine the legal implications.