Tag Archives: José Antonio Meade

Calderón reshuffles cabinet with an eye to 2012 campaign

On Saturday, President Felipe Calderón announced a cabinet reshuffle, with an eye to the 2012 election. Juan Molinar Horcasitas, one of Calderón’s closest political advisers, resigned as Secretary of Communications and Transportation in order “to participate intensively in political-party work that is important for the life of the country” according to the President’s statement. He is being replaced by Dionisio Pérez-Jácome, who has been Undersecretary of Finance for Expenditures and who also briefly served as presidential chief of staff.

Molinar’s record as head of SCT was not stellar. The ministry continued to be bedeviled by technical problems in executing the government’s ambitious transportation infrastructure program. And little headway was made in the area of telecommunications policy, where the award of a large bloc of wireless spectrum to a Nextel-Televisa consortium was drowned in a sea of lawsuits and the withdrawal of Televisa.

The President also named congressman Roberto Gil Zuarth as his new private secretary, replacing Luis Felipe Bravo Mena.  Gil Zuarth had been widely seen as the President’s preferred candidate to take over the PAN in the party’s recent election of a new leader (an election won by Senator Gustavo Madero).  Bravo Mena is returning to the private sector.

As noted by El Universal’s Bajo Reserva column:  “Inside and outside his party, the PAN, the reading [of the changes] was the same: it is a signal that Calderón is not packing his bags and ready to give up power, perhaps to a political adversary. [The appointments] announced yesterday were a demonstration that he will give battle to everyone, including those within his own party.”

Georgina Kessel moves from Secretary of Energy to the President of Banobras, the development bank. She replaces Alonso García Tamés, who returns to the private sector.

José Antonio Meade, Undersecretary of Finance, becomes the new Secretary of Energy. Meade becomes the last of the senior level technocratic ‘old guard’ of the Ministry of Finance to leave, a process that started with the appointment of Ernesto Cordero as Finance Secretary in December 2009.

(Presidencia 1/8)

PRI challenges President on budget, calls for tax cuts

Even as the PRI leadership – Manlio Fabio Beltrones, Beatriz Paredes, and Francisco Rojas – met privately with President Calderón to discuss budget priorities, the party published an open letter to the President calling for an economic package with no new taxes and a rollback of the value added tax (VAT) from 16 to 15%. Undersecretary of Finance José Antonio Meade said the budget, to be delivered on the 8th, would keep all taxes unchanged from current levels and called the proposal to cut tax rates “irresponsible” given the decline in oil production. Meade said the budget to be proposed would have a deficit of about 0.4% of GDP, and that a 1% cut in the VAT would cost about Ps. 35 billion. (Universal 9/7)

Werner leaving Finance Ministry

The Undersecretary of Finance Alejandro Werner, who has been the principal symbol of continuity in economic policy management since the appointment of Ernesto Cordero as Finance Minister late last year, confirmed today that he will leave the Ministry. Reforma is reporting that José Antonio Meade, currently the Undersecretary for Revenue, will become the new Undersecretary and José Antonio González Anaya, currently the coordinator with states will take Meade’s place. (Reforma 8/16)

Supreme Court fully backs IETU tax law

The Supreme Court (SCJN) rejected all constitutional arguments against the Single Rate Corporate Tax, or IETU, which went into effect at the beginning of 2008 as part of the 2007 fiscal reform package. Some 40,000 lawsuits had been brought against the IETU, which operates as a kind of alternative minimum tax for corporations and professionals.  After six sessions devoted to the IETU, the Ministers said in a press release summarizing their decisions that the tax met the constitutional principles of “legality, equity, and proportionality.” Undersecretary of Finance for Revenue José Antonio Meade has said that a reversal of the tax would cost the government about Ps. 90 billion in revenues per year. (Universal 2/9, Reforma 2/9, SCJN 2/9)