The president of Panama said on Thursday he would go to Spain and Italy to pressure companies to honour contracts to expand his country’s canal after a building consortium behind the project threatened to suspend work because of a row over costs.
The consortium – Spain’s Sacyr, Italy’s Salini Impregilo, Belgium’s Jan De Nul and Panama’s Constructora Urbana – said on Wednesday that $1.6bn in cost overruns on the $3.2bn plan to build a third set of locks for the canal should be met by Panama.
Underbid, claim contract changes, yes, we’ve seen this story before.
Martinelli, who took power in 2009, said he expected Italy and Spain to uphold commitments to back the project which the countries’ leaders made to him during his first year in office.
“So I’m going to go to Spain and Italy to demand this from them, because a company should not be able to put such a high amount of overrun costs on a project that belongs to humanity,” he told reporters in Panama City.
Ah, no, I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works actually.
And, umm, if this canal belongs to humanity, it will be humanity getting the fees from ships traversing it, will it? Or is the Panamanian Government going to keep them?