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Mexican central bank challenges pay limits for public servants

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador holds up a US $2 bill during his daily morning press conference on Friday, Jan. 4, in Mexico City. EFE-EPA/Sashenka Gutierrez

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador holds up a US $2 bill during his daily morning press conference on Friday, Jan. 4, in Mexico City. EFE-EPA/Sashenka Gutierrez

EFE

Mexico’s central bank announced Friday that it was asking the Supreme Court to overturn a law barring any public employee from being paid more than the country’s president.

“The Banco de Mexico has decided to promote ... a constitutional dispute regarding said norms and laws,” the bank said in a statement.

While Banco de Mexico welcomed the 2019 budget put forward by new President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as fiscally responsible, the bank’s board sees the proposed pay ceiling as an attack on the central bank’s constitutionally mandated autonomy.

Thousands of individual public employees have already sought injunctions against the pay regulation, which remains on hold pending resolution of an earlier constitutional challenge brought by opposition parties.

Lopez Obrador, leader of the leftist Morena party, calls his approach to government “republican austerity.”

Upon taking office, he fulfilled one of his campaign promises by slashing the presidential salary 60 percent to 108,000 pesos (roughly $5,500) a month and asking the Morena-controlled Congress to bar any other public servant from making more than that.

Annual per capita income in Mexico is $8,902, according to the World Bank.

Asked about the Banco de Mexico appeal to the Supreme Court, Lopez Obrador told reporters Friday at his daily morning press conference that the future of the proposed salary cap was in the hands of the judiciary.


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