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Cablegate: Embassy Panama

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

those who create instability and obstacles to dialogue.

5. (SBU) Minister of Government and Justice (MOGJ) Hector
Aleman on July 21 told Pol Specialist that he had already
begun private negotiations with the teachers' and doctors'
unions. His job is to find non-radical groups to negotiate
with and to isolate the radicals. According to Aleman, the
GOP believes SUNTRACS will not accept any solution to CSS
reforms. When asked what the GOP would do if the deadline
passes without an agreement, Aleman only responded: "We are
working hard to prevent that from happening." In a separate
conversation, Comptroller General Dani Kuzniecky expressed
disappointment that Cabinet meetings and government
committees were not discussing the National Dialogue at all.
Kuzniecky said that the GOP had no plan "B" if the talks
fail.

Comment: Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire
--------------------------------------------
6. (SBU) High public expectations for a National
Dialogue-negotiated resolution to CSS reform with buy-in from
all sectors will only create more trouble for the GOP if it
is caught holding the bag should negotiations fail.
According to a recent La Prensa poll, 62% of Panamanians hope
that the Dialogue will come up with proposals to save CSS.
On the other hand, public support for the National Dialogue
also indicates that FRENADESO's stalling will not win public
support. The pendulum, at least for now, has swung toward
the government: in early July, President Torrijos's approval
rating moved up to 39%, from a crushingly low, CSS-related
24% in June (reftel C).

DANILOWICZ

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