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Poll: Most Mexicans oppose opening oil sector to private firms

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Mexico City, Aug 19 (EFE).- While accepting the need for reform of the energy sector, most Mexicans oppose opening state oil monopoly Pemex to private investment, a poll published Monday by capital daily El Universal shows.

Only 20 percent of the 1,000 adults surveyed by pollster Buendia & Laredo over the period Aug. 8-13 expressed support for the idea, which is a key element of the energy plans put forward by centrist President Enrique Peña Nieto and the main opposition conservative PAN party.

Sixty-two percent of respondents said "no" to allowing private participation in the oil sector, though the same proportion agreed that Pemex, the world's fifth-leading crude producer, needs an overhaul.

Peña Nieto's plan would clear the way for Pemex to enter into risk- and profit-sharing partnerships with private companies when such contracts are "in the national interest."

The PAN, meanwhile, wants to allow private firms to compete with Pemex, which was created after Mexico nationalized its then-foreign dominated oil industry in 1938.

Mexico's third major political force, the center-left PRD, opposes any move to diminish what party founder Cuauhtemoc Cardenas describes as "the state's exclusivity in strategic areas of the oil industry."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/130819/poll-most-mexicans-oppose-opening-oil-sector-private-firms