Varela committee stars quit

886Views 3Comments Posted 05/08/2016

THE TWO STAR  members of a  committee set up by President Juan Carlos Varela  to review Panama’s financial industry have resigned after  only three months, over  the “lack of transparency and independence”

They are  American Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, and Swiss citizen Mark Pieth, a professor of criminal law at the University of Basel.

The committee was set up in the wake of the Panama Papers reports exposing  the activities of Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca, whose founders served as advisors to the Varela administration,

Stiglitz and Pieth issued a joint release on Friday, August 5.

After the resignation, the Foreign Ministry reacted to the latest blow to Panama’s image  with  a statement that it regretted the decision, and said that it was due to internal differences between members of the group.

"We regret the departure of Joseph Stiglitz and Mark Pieth. The Panamanian government understands both resignations are due to internal differences over which it is not going to intervene. Even so, it is thankful for the work and recommendations made by them. The government reiterates its firm and real commitment to transparency and international cooperation, demonstrated with clear actions that have been recognized by the international community," the Ministry said.

The committee was installed April 29 by President Varela