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New Panamanian president to raise police salaries

New Panamanian president to raise police salaries

President-elect Ricardo Martinelli plans to raise police pay, implement monthly aid payments to the elderly and begin work on a plan to build a subway system in Panama's capital within hours of taking office Wednesday, an aide said.
Frank de Lima, appointed by Martinelli as economy vice minister, said Tuesday that the new president will detail the programs Thursday during his first Cabinet meeting.
The country's 20,000 police officers will get a $100 increase in monthly pay as a way to boost moral, de Lima said. Police officers now earn an average of $420 a month.
Between 40,000 and 50,000 elders will begin receiving monthly aid payments of $100, de Lima said. He said the new program will help lessen the impact of the global economic crisis on Panama.
A commission that will work on the plan to build a subway in Panama City will be formally established Thursday, de Lima said.
The U.S.-educated, pro-business Martinelli, 57, who owns Panama's largest supermarket chain, has said building the subway will be the second biggest source of new jobs in the Central American country, after the Panama Canal's expansion.
The canal is Panama's economic motor and Martinelli supports its expansion, but the world's financial crunch has raised uncertainty over the project, which is getting $2.3 billion in international financing. Approved in a 2006 referendum, the project is expected to create about 5,000 direct jobs in 2010-11, when construction is at its peak, authorities say.


Updated : 2021-05-07 19:38 GMT+08:00