Martinelli: "We all want the same thing"
02/01/2013 - President Ricardo Martinelli delivered his annual speech on the state of the nation to the National Assembly today saying "We all want the same thing."
Contrary to expectations, Martinelli did not lash out against the media for its reporting on scandals that have dominated his time in office, as he did last year. He did not refer at all to the events surrounding Finmeccanica or Financial Pacific, to which he has been linked in media reports.
In his speech, the president said that the opposition only attacks him for the way he has done his job and not for the success he has achieved. He said that both sides have the same goal, namely to help the country imrpove, and that he at times feels frustrated.
The president, in his speech, stressed that in his three and a half years of management, he has achieved the obtaining of appointments at Social Security by phone and the installation of free internet throughout the country.
He also said that 2012 was a great year for Panamanians due to economic development, improved bond ratings and the reduction of uneployment.
Martinelli explained the advances that have been achieved in terms of the modernization of airports in Tocumen and Colón, as well as improvements to water service in Bocas del Toro, Panama and Chiriqui.
In his speech, he made a point to acknowledge the work that the first lady of the Republic, Marta Martinelli Linares, has performed, as well as the progress of the Metro system.
He said that the government will soon tender the further expansion of the Metro to Tocumen (line 2) and to La Chorrera (line 3). He said that he has heard the criticism from users to improve the effectiveness of the Metro Bus transit system.
He also assured that the means of social communication and civil society are important for the balance of democracy.
The speech lasted 56 minutes.