Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday adopted a more conciliatory stance to Spain, a day after suggesting there should be a pause in ties with Mexico’s former colonial power.
The president on Wednesday said Spanish companies had benefited from an energy market rigged in favor of private interests by corrupt Mexican governments, as he sought to defend his plan to strengthen state control of the power market.
Lopez Obrador later underlined he was not advocating a diplomatic rupture, a clarification welcomed by Spain.
“I didn’t talk about breaking (relations),” Lopez Obrador told a regular morning news conference. “No. We’re going to settle down the relationship.”
Spain’s Foreign Ministry said it strongly rejected Lopez Obrador’s Wednesday remarks. It also vowed to work to retain good relations with Mexico, which it described as a “brother nation,” stressing their close cultural and economic ties.
Speaking in Brussels, Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said Lopez Obrador’s latest remarks had cleared up the situation.
“Let it be very clear, the Spanish government will defend the Spanish people, the good name of Spain and its companies in any circumstance and against anyone,” Albares said.
Critics fear Lopez Obrador’s energy plan could discourage investment in renewable energy by prioritizing state firms.
Lopez Obrador has often spoken against Spain’s colonial and corporate legacy in Mexico, and on Thursday again argued that Mexican and Spanish politicians had in the past conspired against the national interest to take advantage of the country.
However, he said Mexico would enter a new era of relations with Spain, and that he respected the country’s government.
Source: El Heraldo de Mexico