Joseph Stiglitz, the American economist & Nobel Prize winner, who was appointed to the special international commission of experts that Panama set up, in the aftermath of the Panama Papers scandal, to recommend reforms in the country's financial services industry, resigned, after he learned that his report would not timely be made public, and that the Government of Panama would see it prior to its eventual release, has commented extensively, to the press, about the matter.
However, what has not been disclosed (and which the Panamanian press, which operates under an unofficial censorship policy that discourages negative stories, will not report) is the fact that Stiglitz was expressly warned, by representatives of the Government of Panama, that the report would have to contain positive information, or his personal reputation would be attacked in the global media. This threat was said to have come directly from the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, according to reliable Panamanian sources. Mr. Stiglitz is obviously too much of a gentlemen to repeat this classless remark, but the public, especially Panamanian voters, have a right to know.
This bit of nasty business comes on top of the fact that the Panamanian nationals, named to the commission by Varela, all claim that the claimed indefinite delay in the release of any commission report was in the original plans, with the Government receiving a copy in advance of publication, and having the opportunity to respond, and that the report release date was never specified. As one can clearly see, the commission was never really independent.
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