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Thursday, 23 November, 2000, 01:38 GMT
Mexico's Fox names key ministers
Fox on the campaign trail
Vicente Fox wants to make big changes in Mexico
By Peter Greste in Mexico

The Mexican president-elect, Vicente Fox, has unveiled his cabinet, 10 days before taking office.

The cabinet appointments indicate a new direction for both the country's foreign policy and its economic development.

The new foreign secretary is a left-wing academic, Jorge Castaneda.

The treasury secretary - who will head the economic team - is to be - Francisco Gil Diaz, a tax collector with a reputation for tough fiscal policies.

Fidel Castro
Cuba's Fidel Castro dislikes Mexican criticism

Mr Castaneda is a controversial figure, known for his combative style, who has been pushing the US hard to open up its borders to more Mexican migration.

In broad terms, he is expected to encourage closer ties between the two countries.

But he has also angered one of Mexico's old allies, Cuba, by openly attacking its human rights record.

Mr Gil was once nicknamed the fiscal terrorist for his taxing policies in an earlier stint at the finance ministry.

Headhunters

The financial markets were expected to react well to the news.

Indigenous people
Tackling poverty is a high priority for the Fox cabinet
Investment analysts say Mr Gil is well equipped to tighten Mexico's accounts.

Mr Fox is a former business executive and he has taken an openly business-like approach to governing.

Soon after he was elected he announced that he would abandon the old system of political patronage to fill his cabinet.

Instead, he said he would choose people based on talent, and employed head-hunting firms to search for likely candidates.

But Mexicans will have to wait until after the formal inauguration ceremony in just over a week's time to find out how different the government will prove to be.

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See also:

21 Sep 00 | Americas
Mexican president-elect 'bugged'
25 Aug 00 | Americas
Mexico and US look to future
30 Sep 00 | From Our Own Correspondent
All change in Mexico
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