Mexico begins construction on controversial capital airport

Mexico begins construction on controversial capital airport

Construction on a new airport will begin in Mexico City today. The project is predicted to produce an airport five

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Photo: Reuters

Construction on a new airport will begin in Mexico City today.

The project is predicted to produce an airport five times larger than the city’s current Benito Juarez Airport, but both the budget and timeline of the project remain unannounced. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) cancelled an earlier $13 billion airport project, which was already underway and would have produced the world’s second largest airport. AMLO justified the cancellation with a referendum that received just 1% voter turnout, although the move shocked financial markets—it precipitated a sell-off of some $2.2 billion in government bonds.

The original airport project was ostensibly nixed for its connection to the previous administration. However, real concern is growing around AMLO’s economic policies, as the IMF and Mexican central bank have both slashed GDP growth forecasts for 2019 and 2020 to below 2%.

As AMLO has regularly cut preexisting, large-scale infrastructure and energy projects, Mexico’s economy and investor confidence have been shaken, as evidenced by these projected growth figures. Meanwhile, AMLO may resort to higher social and welfare spending to deliver on his populist campaign promises, exacerbating growing economic issues. Indeed, AMLO may be heading for long-term economic fallout.

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