Temas Especiales

25 de Jun de 2022

Nacional

Vice president flouted the system

PANAMA. With only a few hours before the Martin Torrijos administration disappears into the shadows, another scandal has erupted to smi...

PANAMA. With only a few hours before the Martin Torrijos administration disappears into the shadows, another scandal has erupted to smirch the PRD record.

On August 1, 2008, Ruben Arosemena, The second vice-president signed a deal with the cruise ship company Carnival Corporation, obliging the State to pay them $4 for each passenger older than 16 years that the company would be transporting to Panamanian ports.

The problems is that the “deal” wasn’t approved by the Cabinet Council or the Comptroller’s Office.

The Commerce ministry didn’t hear about it nor did the Tourism Authority.

A month after the company was due their first payment, the current minister of the Presidency , Rafael Mezquita, suspended the agreement by sending a note to the corporation.

Mezquita explained there were differences between the government and Carnival.

Arosemena has a different version. “The signature was the renewal of a previous contract” while he recognizes that more paperwork needed to be filed.

He added that the problem is for the new government to sort out.

His decision turned out to have no backing.

Or maybe it got lostin the last days of President Martin Torrijos.

Arosemena was left out in the cold when before the first payment for the company had to be calculated, the Cabinet decided to cancel the agreement.

“The President instructed us to close this issue and to tell the company that a new process must be opened to formalize the agreement.” said Mezquita in the letter he sent to Carnival.

The former vice-president said that the letter Mezquita sent explained to the company why the payment were not made and more procedures will have to follow.