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Tuesday, June 25 2019 @ 11:42 PM UTC

Cucalón: No Official Amount Of Taxes Owed By Eisenmann

Money MattersThe Director General of Revenue, Luis Cucalón, clarified yesterday that neither the Department of Revenue (DGI) nor their auditors have informed businessman Roberto Eisenmann on the amount of the result of an audit that is being performed on his company, Desarrollo Golf Coronado, S.A.. "The $1.5 million dollars is not the official figure of the audit, because the DGI nor its auditors ever told Eisenmann that this was the amount of taxes owed," said Cucalón yesterday. The businessman, founder of the newspaper La Prensa, said last week: "They told me about a tax bill of $1.5 million dollars based on a bunch of nonsense that makes it clear that it is a political audit." According to Cucalón, Eisenmann has as a tax advisor a former employee of the DGI - who was fired during his term in office - with a last name of Cabezas. "Cabezas was the one who told Eisenmann the amount of tax he can expect to pay," said the Chief of the DGI. He added: "Cabezas asked the DGI auditors what would happen if the taxes were not paid, and they told him the company would be sequestered, as with other taxpayers who owe money to the treasury."

Equity - On the other hand, President Ricardo Martinelli said yesterday through a press release that "good businessmen do not feel alluded to. They, like me, pay their taxes and they are aware that the modern definition of enterprise includes a vision of social commitment to the environment in which economic activity takes place." The president was reacting to declarations, made primarily by associations of businessmen, in response to his speech given on 2 January 2012 before the National Assembly, in which he used the adjective "empresaurios" (Business Dinosaurs).

The Chamber of Commerce, which did not like the president's remarks when he said the "empresaurios" will not forgive him for reaching into their pockets, held its weekly meeting yesterday behind closed doors, and among other issues, they discussed the remarks made by the President in the Assembly. At that meeting, besides the President of this body and their members, participated Eisenmann, who was allowed to speak. Eisenmann called Martinelli's accusations "incomprehensible insults" because, according to him, they did nothing to improve for good, but rather made bad things worse.

For his part, retired Gen. Ruben Dario Paredes said the scandals that are in the government led the president to give a speech with a boxing strategy; "the attack." "I think, after seeing the image of the government falling in the polls, he decided to take power and prominence," said Paredes. This is not only a strategy used by the president, according to Paredes, but rather something that shook the sensibilities of the Panamanian people, because the people know he's acting that way because he feels weak.

The former National Assembly Deputy Teresita de Arias was stronger in her remarks, saying the president exaggerated in his speech, and branded with the current administration as one of the most corrupt governments. The National Assembly Deputy from the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) Leandro Avila, meanwhile said the president should be humble and not run wild with a speech of unnecessary confrontation. "I hope those challenging words remain merely as a speech," he said.

The Minister of Economy and Finance, Frank De Lima, came out in defense of the president's words and said the businessmen complain when they have to pay taxes. "This government, like others, has done good things and bad things", said De Lima. The Minister Alma Cortés and the National Assembly Deputy from the Democratic Change party Vidal Garcia endorsed as positive the statements made by the president during his speech. Cortes said Martinelli was very concise in several subjects and raised the achievements of 30 months in office.

Mariano Mena, of the General Confederation of Workers of Panama, said the president forgot he is also a businessman and a shareholder of various news and media outlets, and even ignored the propaganda of reconciliation that played before Christmas. (Panama America)

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