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Sunday, August 19 2018 @ 02:35 AM EDT

Martin Blinked...

Panama NewsFirst, the church got involved in the current crisis, and last night President Torrijos announced that the government would suspend the implementation of law 17. Government officials on all sides today were urging people to go back to work and parents to send their children back to school. They're trying to get the country moving again... The threat of having every priest in the country urging their congregations to hit the streets in protest was too much. The day after church leaders got involved in the crisis, the government blinked. Sort ot...

They did not suspend the law. They kind of promised to suspend the imlementation of the law for 90 days to allow for a dialog to take place. They also said that any changes that will be made to the law as a result of those talks will be retroactive back to when the law was first passed.

Several striking leaders came out to raise the BS flag, and vowed to fight on. In reality, the SUNTRACS guys are probably about out ot steam, because they (and their families) have to eat. It's been almost a month without pay, and that's a lot to ask of anyone.

Three months will give the government time to do what they should have done in the first place - conduct a dialog with the people to weigh the pros and cons of the changes to the social security laws. Now, there will be time to thoughtfully discuss all 300+ elements and parts of the law.

In the end there are really only a few factors that can be changed. How much you pay, how long you have to pay in to the system, at what age you can retire, and how much you get when you do retire. Slide those four factors up and down until the numbers balance. Or, at least keep it up until the numbers balance a little better than they do right now.

In the end the government will probably have to compromise here and there, and all sides will claim victory. Then, we can get on with the real business of getting the $6 billion dollar canal expansion referendum approved.

And by the way, so much for the separation of church and state. We just witnessed an old-school scolding, and a smart executive who know's when he's beat. The "bully pulpit" always has been a trump card. Shame it had to come to that.
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