2012-10-24 16:53:34

Panama to change policy on land sale

(Vatican Radio) The President of Panama is poised to do a U-turn about a major land sale, due to violent protests. The epicentre of the controversy concerns the duty free zone of Colon, which is seen as a cradle of free enterprise and simultaneously area of high crime rates. There have been violent protests which have already cost several lives, following an announcement on Friday by President Ricardo Martinelli that the land, which is State owned will be sold. The backlash result which has pitted protesters against his security forces in an ongoing protest has convinced him to change his mind. He's publically said that if the people oppose this measure then it will be reversed. The port of Colon which is situated close to the Panama Canal is one of the largest free trade areas in the world, and has a booming if unconventional and irregular economy. The City's Chamber of Commerce has also voiced bitter opposition and has coordinated a strike.

Listen to the report by James Blears: RealAudioMP3

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