President  Cortizo took over "disorganized disaster"

1,246Views 3Comments Posted 02/01/2020

When Panama President Laurentino Nito Cortizo took over the reins of the country he found a disaster in public finances, a disorganized administration, with an unprecedented corruption record he said In the National Assembly on Thursday, January 2 in his first report to the nation.

He he found that. “In the last 10 years, Panama's debt, that of all Panamanians tripled, from $11 billion to more than $30 billion. This amounts to a debt of $22,300 per household, ”he said.

In the last five years Panama's economy reflects "a clear slowdown" and unemployment increased. He stressed that his government received “unregistered debts” to suppliers, contractors, teachers, producers, banks and the Social Security Fund, for $1.738 billion.

“In addition, in 2018, the previous government overestimated revenues of $1.1 billion. That is, they calculated quite badly,” he said.

He pointed out that 159 “critical” public infrastructure projects were pending. Many, aborted by lack of payments, others by  low execution, some were abandoned and others "arrested for multiple legal disputes." He mentioned the Amador Guerrero hospitals in Colón, Metetí, in Darién, and Bugaba, Chiriquí, in and the Hospital del Niño and the City of Health.

Disorganization & Corruption
He spoke of the "serious deterioration" of institutionality, as they found an Executive that disrespected the balance of powers. "A democracy distorted by anti-democratic mechanisms, corruption at levels never seen before, and disorganization, improvisation and whims was the behavior of the last governments."

The safe neighborhoods program and resocialization in prisons have failed, and citizens demand an independent justice system with attorneys, magistrates and judges who do their job well.

Despite the dark picture he described, he said he feels “optimistic” and listed some of the actions they have implemented in the first six months of government: the issuance of $2 billion in bonds, the cancellation of debts for more than $1,7 billion, the execution of 36 infrastructure projects and the endorsement, by the Assembly, of the Public-Private Partnership law.



Comments 3


Yes borrowing to pay off debts sounds crazy and we as householders know its the wrong thing to do but is common amongst governments . Its either that or declare the country bankrupt .Its very hard to dig yourself out of a hole. The US is the worlds largest debtor but carries on printing away and increasing its debt ceilings every year. The UK conservatives found a massive debt in place when it took over from Labour and initiated a very unpopular period of austerity. This changed when the elections loomed and now are are releasing the money taps again. So yes, when deep in debt as Panama finds itself the Government has no choice ...either default on the loans or borrow to pay some of it back. Each new incoming government here leaves its successor with a mighty debt and its getting worse .

8 months ago

talks about the debt of the country and then borrows 2 billion more... roll eyes now ..

8 months ago
George Klk

Panama | National Debt Tripled to More Than $30 billion...Unemployment 7.1 % Where was the planning board in charge? Where was the credentials committee? Where was home land security? Where was former president Ricardo Martinelli...Florida, U.S.A. /fled with cash. Ricardo Martinelli fled without his wife and sons...(his cash!). Ricardo Martinelli extradited to Panama and case dismissed? Ricardo Martinelli [$$$...smiling...$$$] like a bed of Roses. Ricardo Martinelli with his Pegasus blackmail and extortion equipment for any future political leverage and $$$. Panama debt has to be paid by the tax payers to support the corruption of Martinelli. I want to buy a house but ... I have to pay for Martinelli's mansion and re-elect him!!! Panama debt more >>> than $30 billion with unemployment 7.1% and corruption continues with ham and the birth of Christ celebration with more...HAM? Panama president Cortizo...such a nice guy...let us wait for a new constitution from the National Assembly. Alright, as a Panamanian, I have to be nice to Ricardo Martinelli or I might just...disappear!

8 months ago
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