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Panamanians react to US decision on offshore companies


Juan C. Araúz, Vice President of the National Bar Association

In each state, its sovereignty allows it to propose a solution to their social problems, provided that they do not violate rights and individual guarantees. The loyalty of a citizen to his country of origin is a theme of identity and belonging. In the case of Panama, the identity of the country is formed by a mixture of cultures, and it is an example of how those who did not find their identity in one country searched for a new one. Politicians face a struggle that will open the debate on the limits and rights of the state against its own nationals. World trade is causing market rules to oblige states to cede their sovereignty. However, there will be international tribunals on human rights that in short time should produce the response and limits to globalization against the trampling of individual rights.

Miguel Antonio Bernal, Constitutionalist

I have no doubt that the real factors that control policy in the global economy have entered a dynamic in which they will start to be more efficient and will impose a series of compulsory enforcement actions, and Panama is not going to escape from that situation. Panama is not going to be able to isolate from the rest of the countries, because we would lose the ability to perform better. Facing a proposal such as the one presented by the United States, Panama was already to be immersed in a globalized financial world. But governments did not pay attention to the signals that the world was sending them. Now we are trapped and landlocked, and we can have very harmful consequences if we continue with the stubbornness of personal interests rather than the national and international interests.

Melitón Arrocha, Deputy

It does not surprise me that some countries with jurisdictions that lend themselves to opacity have begun to take measures to prevent tax evasion and offer not only to its territory, but to other countries, such information that may be shared automatically. What is being sought is to prevent a massive flight of capital from countries whose rates are very high, to countries that have a tax system that is lower. This proposal indicates the position of President Barack Obama about the direction they are taking and also it indicates that they most likely will be working with partners in the rest of the world to set a standard on this issue. In Panama, any decision must be taken to safeguard our national interests.

Luis H. Moreno, The Ethics and Citizenship Foundation

The same rules must be applied to everyone. All fair and honest business demands for both parties that the conditions are fair and honest, if the agreement establishes one modality for some and another modality for others, that cannot be. There are many opinions on this subject, there are many who believe that the conditions, the agreements are not the same for all. If the tax system of Panama is taken, that is not equal to that of other countries. If we are to establish requirements and sanctions, we have to secure an agreement on parity between these conditions. That is not what is happening right now, and precisely why we qualify as a tax haven.


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