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Reduction in electricity tariffs blocks dialogue in Panama

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Reduction in electricity tariffs blocks dialogue in Panama

Panama City, Aug 5 (Prensa Latina) After two weeks of sessions, the lowering of electricity rates in Panama has halted the single table of dialogue between the Government and social organizations.

In the fifth item on the agenda – previously they discussed basic food basket, fuel, medicines and education – the representatives of the groups protesting against the high cost of living proposed to reduce the electricity rate by 45 percent, without a subsidy; and that the rest of the items be discussed in a subcommission.

The motion was rejected by government representatives, who pointed out that it would be “irresponsible” to endorse the proposal, in view of contracts and regulations which are more than 26 years old and which must be respected by the national electric system.

In view of this refusal, the representatives of social groups regretted that there was no clear answers and that they did not want to affect the oligopolistic groups, against which the Government wants to solve everything with subsidies, which in the end will come out of the pockets of Panamanians.

They also insisted that the Executive has the responsibility by the Constitution to intervene in these cases and the capacity to look for a solution, but it requires political will.

The groups also proposed to nationalize four joint ventures, privatized in 1990, alluding to the hydroelectric plants of La Fortuna, Estrella, Los Valles (province of Chiriqui) and Bayano (East Panama) from Empresa de Generación Electrica (Egesa).

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