The sessions at the capital’s Technical University were preceded by a gathering of members of the National Center of Workers of Panama to support the representatives of the United People for Life alliance.
The National Front for Economic and Social Rights (Frenadeso) also issued a statement of condemnation in light of the position of private business, which has set conditions for participation in this phase of negotiations with the government and against the groups.
According to this text, the main business associations resort to means to avoid the national debate, although they previously claimed this space.
It is, as Frenadeso’s message specifies, a demonstration of the lack of will of an arrogant, haughty, ignorant, transit-oriented, rent-seeking, bribery and corrupt class that eludes real solutions to the country’s serious problems.
Frenadeso also denounced several executive branch violations of agreements adopted in the first phase of these negotiations, which began on July 21 in the central province of Coclé.
With that in mind, they point out that some pharmacies are still not selling subsidized drugs and the allocation of 6.0 percent of gross domestic product to public education is still uncertain.
They condemn the high electricity prices, the blackouts and the parametric measures affecting pensioners instead of solving the Social Security Fund crisis, among others. For his part, one of the groups’ spokesmen, Saúl Méndez, told Prensa Latina that the reluctance of private parties to engage in dialogue with the population shows the high level of irresponsibility in this sector.
The general secretary of the Single Union of Construction and Allied Workers pointed out that despite the employers’ campaign of hate and fraud against the process in the media, these talks continue, denying space to social organizations.
The second stage of these talks kicked off this Thursday, chaired by the Minister for Labor and Labor Development, Doris Zapata, and with the participation of the Catholic Church as an observer, but without private business people.
For this phase, 41 organizations, including indigenous groups, retirees, Afro-descendants and anti-corruption activists, applied to the Archdiocese of Panama and Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa for their membership.