The Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said today that in a telephone conversation with the head of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, he explained that the increase in the minimum wage in Mexico convinced him to do the same in Spain.
"About a week ago we communicated by phone with the president of Spain, and he told me, he told me, that he had been aware of the decision we made in Mexico" in relation to the minimum wage, the leftist leader said at an event in Ciudad Juarez, in the northern state of Chihuahua.
He indicated that in that conversation Sánchez explained that, motivated by the measure taken in Mexico, "he had done the same in Spain, and had increased the minimum wage in the country.
On December 17, the Mexican government, businessmen and unions agreed to increase the general minimum wage by 16.21%, which went from 88.36 pesos per day (4.6 dollars) to 102.68 pesos per day (5.3 dollars) as of January 2019.
On December 21, the Spanish government approved a minimum wage increase of 22.3%, to 900 euros (1,000 dollars) per month, which benefits almost 2.5 million workers.
López Obrador went to Ciudad Juarez today to present his economic plan for the Free Zone of the Northern Border to encourage investment and employment in the border area with the United States.
He reiterated that this area, already in force, aims to create a "last curtain of development" in Mexico to stop the migration to the northern neighbor.
To this "curtain" will be added infrastructure works and development projects in the south of the country, such as a cargo railway that will connect the Pacific with the Atlantic through the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and seek to compete with the Panama Canal, he said.
The free zone includes 43 municipalities in the states of Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas, all along 3,180 kilometers of border with the United States, from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico.
In this area, the Value Added Tax (VAT) goes down from 16% to 8% and the Income Tax (ISR) decreases from 30% to 20%.
In addition, the prices of energy products are homologated with those of the United States and the minimum wage increases to 176 pesos per day (about $ 9.1).
In this regard, the Mexican Minister of Economy, Graciela Márquez, urged to "take advantage of the locomotive" that is "across the border" to generate employment and consumption in Mexico.