Mexico City: In his first address to the nation as president, Mexico`s Enrique Pena Nieto has vowed to strengthen the economy, fight crime and push for educational reform.
"Mexico is now ready to take off in the 21st century, we have the historic opportunity to transform Mexico into the power it should be," said Pena Nieto, shortly after taking oath of office Saturday.
Nieto said it will be a priority of his government to fight crime and forge peace in Mexico. During the term of outgoing president Felipe Calderon, more than 60,000 people had died in drug-related violence.
The new head of state has announced policies to tackle crime, education reform, welfare for the elderly and single mothers, and infrastructure building to drive the economy, Xinhua reported.
"It is unacceptable that millions of Mexicans still suffer from hunger," said Pena Nieto, announcing his decision to instruct the Social Development Ministry to "launch a national crusade against hunger", involving all sectors of society.
He also announced a pension programme for those over 70 and an insurance plan aimed at protecting the children of Mexico`s large number of single mothers.
A major infrastructure building programme calls for construction of rail lines, including an electric train connecting Mexico City with second-largest city Guadalajara.
Mexico`s 66th president takes office for a six-year term 2012-2018, returning to power the once long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, which governed nonstop for 71 years before voted out in 2000.
Nieto, 46, claims he represents a new, more democratic PRI.