Panama: New President to Impose Emergency Price Controls as First Policy

EspañolOn July 1, when Juan Carlos Varela starts his presidential term in Panama, his first measure will be emergency price controls over basic articles such as food.

This decision, allowed by the Panamanian constitution, will remain in effect until a “market stabilization” can be achieved — although there are no concrete thresholds or trigger points established. It mandates that vendors reduce their profit margins to avoid being “excessive.”

Varela similarly proposes to stimulate national agricultural production to offset food imports. While he has claimed no intention of increasing taxes, he hopes to better target taxpayer money and avoid waste and fraud.

The food price regulation policy is also interpreted as a message to the actual president, Ricardo Martinelli, who owns one of the biggest supermarkets group in Panama (Super 99).

Source: Reuters.

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