Trying to halt the peso crisis besetting his new administration, Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo today signed a bullet-biting accord for wage and price restraints. Several hours later, in a nationally televised address, Zedillo tried to persuade ordinary Mexicans to join him in enforcing wage and price ceilings to avert any further devaluation or inflation. "Mexico is confronted with a serious economic crisis that will invariably affect the population and demand sacrifices by all," he said. Under the accord, business leaders would not raise prices on domestic goods, while workers would give up substantive pay hikes. Despite these moves, both investors and ordinary citizens were skeptical. In trading today, the peso weakened, slipping from 4.925 to close at 5.325 to the dollar. TIME Mexico City bureau chief Laura Lopez says Zedillo's success in bringing together labor and business is "a coup." Still, "people are a bit shocked that they're being asked to sacrifice so early in his administration," Lopez says. As one woman told her: "Sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice -- we've been sacrificing already for years."