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NEWS & POLITICS - Achievements of Calderón

Image: CNN Mexico

President Felipe Calderón touts his administration’s successes

Although the federal government has not managed to show tangible results in favor of Mexican society, especially in security matters, President Felipe Calderón was keen to say that, at the beginning of his sixth year of administration, the economic, health and infrastructure sectors have improved dramatically.

ECONOMY AND EMPLOYMENT The President said his government faced the devastating United States economic crisis of 2009, and is currently weathering the hardships of the economic crisis in Europe.

He also said that Mexico is economically strong and has grown steadily in spite of global adversity.

The President noted that during the third trimester of 2011, Mexico’s economy grew by 4.

5 percent, that is, one percent more than the numbers predicted by economic experts.

He stated that the economy is still growing and will most likely reach high numbers by the end of the year.

“I have said it before and I say it today.

Even though there are problems, problems that we are all aware of, Mexico is on the road for a better 2012.

Our economy is strong and sound, and is growing with every passing day.

The road that we are treading is the road of employment and wellbeing for Mexican families,” he said.

Regarding employment, the President noted that although there is much to do to improve employment rates in the country, his government created more than 700,000 jobs in 2011.

“These are not just numbers, but people who are currently registered with social security institutions.

We even managed to create more jobs this year than the United States,” he added.

In terms of the economy, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, noted that Mexico’s sound economy is the result of efficient fiscal policies that were implemented over the year.

HEALTH As part of his social policies, President Calderón said his government is focused on providing people with equal opportunities, which, in his words, has resulted in improvement in the health and housing sectors.

He insisted that one of his government’s top priorities is providing the population at large with health services on par with developed nations.

One of his budgetary goals for the current administration is to guarantee universal health coverage, which became a reality with the creation of the Popular Insurance.

According to a census conducted in 2000, only 45 million Mexicans had access to some type of medical service or were registered with the Mexico Social Security Institute (IMSS) and the Government Employees Social Security Institute (ISSSTE).

However, according to numbers released by the federal government, 104 million Mexicans are now covered by public insurance.

“That means that in the past ten years, we have done more than any other government in the history of the country,” he said.

President Calderón stated that the Popular Insurance covers all types of cancer in children, as well as breast and prostate cancer.

He noted that more than 1000 hospitals, clinics and medical centers were built during his tenure.

“The States of Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, the State of Mexico, Quintana Roo, Morelos, San Luis Potosí, Sonora, Tlaxcala and Yucatán are now enjoying health care coverage,” he added.

ROADS President Calderón stated that in the past decades, governments had invested only two percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in infrastructure projects, but added that his government has invested five percent.

“Believe me, this is a lot of money.

We invest nearly 50 billion pesos every year for the construction of bridges, roads, ports, airports, oil rigs and even power plants,” he said.

The President also said that the Communications and Transportation Secretariat (SCT) stated that more than 17,000 kilometers of roads and highways were upgraded or renovated.

“That is double the amount compared to the 90’s.

We invested 20 percent more than the previous administration.

I’m sure that we will have attained 19,000 kilometers of roads and highways by the end of 2011,” he noted.

HOUSING In the past five years, the federal government granted more than 700,000 credits and subsidies for low-income families to purchase housing.

“The past administration awarded only half that,” the President said.

The President also said that these numbers are very encouraging because his government is near the figures originally planned at the beginning of his tenure.

“This year, we launched the Housing Promotion program, the aim of which is to provide people that are not registered with government institutions with the tools they need to buy a house or renovate the one they already possess.

This program is good news for people working for small businesses or independently.

Even some working in informal conditions will have access to the program,” he added.

EDUCATION The President claimed that one of his administration’s greatest achievements is the improvement of the education sector.

“During this administration, and according to figures released by several government agencies, we have built around 100 new universities and have renovated another 50.

We have also built 985 high schools throughout the nation,” he noted.

He pointed out that every year, nearly 120,000 engineers graduate from public universities.

“That number is larger than in countries like Germany, Canada and Brazil.

The number of engineers graduating in Mexico is twice the number graduating in the United States,” the President stated.

Indeed, the government of President Calderón still must face several challenges.

Nevertheless, the problems that are still a pebble in the President’s shoe are security, poverty and economic growth, the latter of which, although not as problematic as in other nations, is still a sector that has remained stagnant for a long time.

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