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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's sweeping away of seven decades of nationalist protections and letting foreign companies back into its oil fields is crucial to bringing the expertise and money needed to rejuvenate its sclerotic energy industry, supporters say.
But even after the strong approval given by both houses of Congress this week, skeptics ask whether Mexico has the ability or will to regulate the private contracts for the benefit of all Mexicans rather than just a few.
The final step for the energy package that passed Congress on Thursday is approval by the legislatures of 17 of Mexico's 31 states, because of its changes to the Mexican constitution.
Many Mexicans are less than enthralled with previous hand-overs of state-run business to private enterprise. The turnover of banking and telecommunications to the private sector in the early 1990s resulted in some of the highest lending fees and cellphone bills in the developed world.
"We don't know how to regulate or supervise absolutely anything," newspaper columnist Carlos Puig wrote this week. "We don't know how to put a public transit concession in order. If we can't do it with a few taxis, how are we going to do it with Exxon, Shell or BP?"
...skeptics ask whether Mexico has the ability or will to regulate the private contracts for the benefit of all Mexicans rather than just a few.