Protestors return to the streets Wednesday

Stalled talks

1,955Views 0Comments Posted 07/08/2022


The dialogue table in Cocle adjourned on Saturday until Thursday, August 11 after two days of talks about the future of Panama’s social security system (CSS) without apparent progress.

At the end of this Saturday's meeting, Luis Sánchez, from the Alliance for the Rights of Organized People (Anadepo), said that the Government is not complying with the agreements on freezing the prices of the basic basket and fuel and called on the Consumer Protection and Defense Authority of the Competition (Acodeco) so that it enforces what was agreed upon in the dialogue. In addition, spokesmen for the Bastión del Oriente Chiricano and Anadepo announced that as of Wednesday, August 10, they will resume protest actions in different provinces of the country to ask that the consensus be reached at the single table be respected.

This topic is especially sensitive for alliance leaders. Fernando Castañeda, general secretary of the Association of Physicians and Dentists of the CSS, said that if the government wants to take them to a “lockdown” in the Parlatino, they could resume the forceful actions in the streets that forced the Government to sit down with them.

Returning to the streets, in the words of Fernando Ábrego, secretary of the Association of Teachers of Panama, is not a threat, but rather a "constitutional right" that they could exercise at any time.

The general secretary of the Association of Veragüense Educators, Luis Sánchez, for example, said that "it is not negotiable" the claim that 49,000 teachers return to have this type of retirement, eliminated in 1998, and that implied that a teacher retired before the rest of those listed in the CSS.

The legal adviser of the CSS, Juan Ospino, said that there is no agreement on the proposal to return to the solidarity system and on the application of special pensions for certain sectors.

Ospino proposed that the members of the Penonomé dialogue join those of the Parlatino dialogue table.

In addition, he specified that the default of the private sector in terms of CSS fees is $300 million and not “$10 billion”, as was said at the table.

At 6:30 p.m. a recess was decreed until next Thursday with a new facilitator and new methodology.