President Carlos Salinas de Gortari is expected to stress economic progress and improvement in his government's human rights record in his second annual state-of-the-nation speech Thursday. He will also promote a free-trade agreement with the United States.
There's no question that higher oil prices have eased Mexico's budget deficit, and the government has moved to sell off national banks, the telephone company and other major state enterprises as part of a reform program.
But Mexicans are still suffering from worse-than-expected inflation, and all are not happy with Salinas. The opposition Popular Socialist Party says it will boycott the address to protest what it calls the sale of the national patrimony.