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Is Martinelli the Steve Jobs of Presidents? He Governs in an Authoritarian Manner and His Country is Having Incredible Success.

Article Summary:

Seven out of ten believe that the Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli governs in an authoritarian manner, according to a survey. They believe that the economic and social policies affect the political executive. On the other hand, Panama looks these days as “the star success story” at the World Forum in Davos.

Photo Credit: Estrategia y Negocios

Original Article Text From Estrategia y Negocios via Google Translate :

Panama: Between Authoritarianism And Economic Success

The company Unimer survey, released Thursday in the newspaper La Prensa , said that 72% of Panamanians responded affirmatively to the question “Do you think Panamanian democracy is in danger?”.

According to Unimer poll, 24% felt negatively. The survey also revealed that 70% of Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli considered as an authoritarian character. Some 27% believe that it is not.

The presidential spokesman, Luis Eduardo Camacho, believes that economic and political interests “want to also induce the idea that people here live in a dictatorship, but perceptions fall to reality, we live here full democracy” Camacho said.

The opposition says it is worried about what it sees as an attempt by President Martinelli to control the three branches of government. The Democratic Change party (CD) Martinelli, a conservative businessman overwhelmingly won the 2009 elections for five years, won the most seats in the legislature. And has considerably increased the seats in the Assembly because several members have enrolled in the ranks of the CD. In just two years and a half in office, Martinelli has appointed four judges of the Supreme Court to replace an equal number of lawyers who have won the period.

The survey was conducted between 19 and Jan. 22 de 2012-1203 Panamanians. With a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points, was released at a time when the Legislature is a little to approve creation of a new room in the Supreme Court would require the appointment of three new judges. Opponents argue that this new request is approved this would strengthen the executive interference in the judiciary.

Martinelli said that he has against the business sectors upset because they are forced to pay taxes, and therefore drive a smear campaign against his government.

From Davos, another is singing

While the interior of Panama perceived frustration of society with the management of Ricardo Martinelli, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the country is exposed as a success story, the story of a country that, in concrete terms, is growing at a rate of 10.5% and has an unemployment rate of 4.4%. The following is the report and the interview with President Martinelli published Infoaltam / EFE:

Ricardo Martinelli, a businessman turned-politician who became president of the country’s Canal in 2009, gave an interview with Efe in the framework of the Davos Forum, which did not shrink any questions, refuting the accusations of those who claim that exerts its task as head of state in an authoritarian manner.

Question: Panama is the fastest growing country in Latin and is implementing a strong program of public investment. These investments can generate future debt and heating the economy. What does your government to stop it?
Everything is very measured and structured. We just made a minimum wage increase of between 15% and 18%, which was taken without any difficulty by private enterprise. There is room to take a lot of costs (…) to increase the quality of life of all Panamanian workers. I see no heating problem.

We have an economy growing at 10.5% and an unemployment rate of 4.4%. We regularize foreigners and there is great interest in European and Latin American investors to invest in Panama. We have one of the highest per capita investment in the world and our public debt to GDP ratio is 41%. We feel very confident that the “revenue stream” (income stream) that the government has power going to all plans and projects we have done and all the campaign promises. The construction of mega infrastructure projects will change the appearance and quality of life of the Panamanian people.

The rise in wages has an impact on inflation, which affects mainly the lower classes. How do you counteract that?
Panama’s inflation is imported, because Panama does not produce most of their food. It is a country that has very little basis for food production (…). Fortunately, the cost of electricity has remained as a result of the construction of hydroelectric plants and a state policy of not allowing speculation that prices will not increase. The important thing here is that ordinary Panamanians have a better quality of life.

What effect will the recession in the euro area on the investments in his country and the economic relationship with Europe?
Definitely affected, but I hate to say, in adversity one’s problems are the benefits of another. Panama is a country that has always benefited when other countries have had adversity. Whenever there is a product unrest in a region of measures taken by some governments, Panama is a direct beneficiary of the new investments.

But most important is the style, the model of country we have, based on logistics, airport and port connectivity, Canal traffic, which makes many multinational companies in Latin America serving to establish their regional headquarters in Panama. This brings a number of value-added products, such as renting apartments, buying cars and consumption, which has made it possible for Panama to have this high rate of growth.

What effect can the recent strike of workers in the Canal expansion in the labor unrest in the country?
It was a strike that was because since 1980 there has always been wage gap between Panama, where he paid $ 2.36 when the minimum wage, and the American zone, with a rate of $ 2.90. Growing Panama and to be regulated for 30 years the wage level of the Canal Zone, was seen coming to the macro, you are paying far more than the minimum wage in the Canal area would be some uneasiness.

Fortunately, there was a wage increase of 12.5% ​​to $ 3.35, and could be resolved. What problems can have this? As nothing more was five days, do not think the effect is very large. However, I assume that companies are going to make a complaint to the Panama Canal by the wage gap that had to incur, I assume that may total $ 50 million.

Does the contract with the GUPC (United for construction consortium Channel) introduced this?
I assume that was not included and was tendered a number of conditions. And I imagine that will change the conditions. There should be an adjustment or a change to which I have no knowledge.

2014 is a key year for Panama, the date of completion of the redevelopment of the Canal. How does the World Economic Forum has chosen Panama as the location for its meeting in April of that year?
It shows that great little country Panama is a country that leads the global economic growth and is at the forefront of many countries and economies. It shows that economic policies are implemented as state and country are best suited to promote growth and development.

Some people accused of authoritarian exercise of power. What does that mean?
I’m so authoritarian that I am building the new Electoral Court, the Electoral Assembly new Parlatino again. There is full freedom of expression in Panama and there is a political prisoner in the country. What’s in Panama is that we have broken the bipartisanship that we had was cancer. And also, I must say, there have been some people who were not accustomed to paying taxes that are now paying taxes. And some of them have any reason to have access to media. But as the works can not attack, attack the individual. It makes me laugh.

What do you think the Supreme Court decision declaring unconstitutional Panamanian Parlacen output?
It is a decision of the Court that we must abide by and send 20 representatives to the Panamanians. I assume that at some point, some of them ask what they call “wages.”

Looking for other ways of achieving what was a campaign promise?
I can have an election promise, but if the Supreme Court unanimously said something else, I do I can do. If I say I’ll close the Supreme Court, then yes I am accused of authoritarianism.

Do you give up the seat that would correspond to the Parlacen the end of his presidency?
I have not given a single thought, if I tell the truth.

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From Estrategia y Negocios

  • robo

    President Martinelli is proof beyond doubt that a successful business minded political leader with good intentions can bring huge benefits and a good life to everyone in the country…..or at least to everyone who also has good intentions.

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