Tuesday 13th December 2022.

December 13, 2022


The Minera Panama company reported this Monday, December 12, that it recently submitted a new proposal to the Government with the aim of reaching an agreement that allows the signing of the new contract. “We believe that our most recent proposal, presented on December 9, meets the Government’s revenue objectives, while providing the necessary protections to ensure the long-term future of the mine, to the benefit of both parties and Panamanians”, highlights a statement from the mining company, without giving further details. But the company reported in the statement that it continues to work with the Ministry of Economy and Finance to reach “a fair and equitable agreement” to ensure the continued operation of the Cobre Panamá mine before the date imposed by the Government.


The Mining Chamber assured in a statement that “sadly” the Government, which set a deadline for Minera Panama to sign a new contract, sends a message to the international community “that in Panama there are inclinations towards an expropriation of private investment.”“Summoning with threats and pressure on the largest private investment in the country’s history -which today amounts to $10  billion- is a disastrous blow to the reputation and credibility of the Nation, because it is also an unequivocal message that Panama can not be trusted to do business and invest, ”says the statement of this Monday, For this reason, it was urged for the Government to “reorient” the management of the negotiations for the new operating contract for the Cobre Panamá mine, without “pressing with fatal deadlines” and making “incomprehensible announcements” that it would proceed with alternative measures if the company did not sign the agreement. This reaction from the Chamber comes days after the Government issued an ultimatum to the subsidiary of the Canadian mining company that if it did not sign the new contract by December 14, it would take alternate actions to continue with the operation of the mining project that between January and September 2022, generated 2 thousand 285 million dollars in sales, a figure that is 2% below those registered in the same period of 2021.


The investigations carried out by the Spanish authorities in the case of the alleged espionage in Mallorca of the “girlfriend” of former President Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, “is at a standstill”, reported the Spanish media El And it is that the Court of Gender Violence of Palma maintains the former president as an “untraceable” person. This case came to light last March, when several Spanish media and news agencies reported that the authorities were investigating at least 11 people, including four agents of the Spanish Civil Guard, for a case of espionage and harassment of a woman. El recalled that the investigations into the former president began with accusations that he allegedly commissioned and financed the surveillance of the woman, after she filed two complaints for being “harassed by fear and concern for her physical and emotional integrity.” .


Despite the complaints about the collection of signatures through the app of the Electoral Tribunal (TE) and the denunciations of disadvantages that the candidacies for free nomination suppose in front of the political parties, in the race for the Mayor’s Office of Panama four applicants surpassed the minimum of 8 thousand 243 signatures to try obtain the most to be the three candidates who will be on the ballot for the general elections on May 5, 2024. From October 3 up to Sunday, December 11, the 11 pre-candidates who intend to replace Mayor José Luis Fábrega for the period 2024-2029 have doubled the signatures that support them. The data is updated until 6:00 am Sunday. The current independent deputy Edison Broce continues as the candidate with the most signatures. Broce, who in October had 8,666 signatures, rose to 19,985. Very close, in second place, remains Iván Blasser, who went from 5,386 signatures to 14,862; Luis Casís, who last October was in third place with 5,038 signatures, increased them to 10,718.


The national secretary of energy, Jorge Rivera Staff, reported that the fuel price subsidy has meant a disbursement of around 200 million dollars from July to date. “The date of the program (of the fuel subsidy) is until January 15, the Government is doing the analyzes and evaluations to see how the international price is to make a decision.” Rivera Staff announced that this week they will announce a reduction in the price of fuel due to the fact that there has been a drop in the price in the international market. He stressed that the decision whether to continue with the subsidy is in the hands of the national Executive and will also depend on the government’s fiscal availability as well as the prices in the international market. Last July, strong protests that were generated in the country due to the increase in food prices, medicine shortages and high fuel prices, led the Executive to authorize a fuel price subsidy for various sectors.

The Ministry of Public Security (Minseg) installed this December 10 another police post in southern Veraguas and decided to increase the number of agents specialized in coastal surveillance, in order to minimize the entry of drugs into the country. The Minseg reported through a press release that it is a position of the National Aeronaval Service (Senan) in the town of Arrimadero in Soná, which cost $75,935 and was built with personnel from the institution. This position is added to the one inaugurated on November 26 by the National Police in Santa Catalina, also in Soná, a point used by drug traffickers to introduce drugs from Colombia to Panama. In October 2021, a similar position was inaugurated in Arenas de Quebro, Mariato. Minseg sources also reported that some 200 recently graduated agents specializing in coastal surveillance will be sent to this tourist area. According to the head of the Minseg, Juan Pino, until December 10, the security forces had managed to capture 121 tons of drugs, mostly cocaine. In 2021, 128.7 tons were seized.

Panamanians continue to be discouraged by the levels of unemployment and the expectations of finding a job and their ability to save, which is impossible to achieve with the rise in prices. The Panamanian Consumer Confidence Index (ICCP) registered 62 points, which represented a slight increase of 1 point in the month of November, when compared to the month of September. However, the improvement is not significant with respect to what has been occurring this year, since 61 points has represented the lowest figure since consumer confidence began to be measured 15 years ago, according to the records of the study carried out by the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama, in strategic alliance with The Marketing Group.



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